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The Chosin Reservoir Campaign 




Based on Research by 

Historical Branch, G-3 
dquarters U. S. Marine Corps 
Washington, D. G, 1957 


U. S. Marine Operations in Korea 
Volume I "The Pusan Perimeter" 
Volume II, "The Inchon-Seoul Campaign" 
Volume III, "The Chosin Reservoir Campaign" 
Volume IV, "The East-Central Front" 
Volume V, "Operations in West Korea" 


Reprinted By 
- Publisher — 
Austin, Texas 
Printed in 
The United States of America 
ISBN 0-944495-03-6 


THE breakout of the 1st Marine Division from the Chosin Reser- 
voir area will long be remembered as one of the inspiring epics 
of our history. It is also worthy of consideration as a campaign in 
the best tradition of American military annals. 

The ability of the Marines to fight their way through twelve Chi- 
nese divisions over a 78-mile mountain road in sub-zero weather can- 
not be explained by courage and endurance alone. It also owed to the 
high degree of professional forethought and skill as well as the 
"uncommon valor" expected of all Marines. 

A great deal of initiative was required of unit commanders, and 
tactics had to be improvised at times on the spur of the moment to 
meet unusual circumstances, But in the main, the victory was gained 
by firm discipline and adherence to time-tested military principles. 
Allowing for differences in arms, indeed, the Marines of 1950 used 
much the same fundamental tactics as those employed on mountain 
roads by Xenophon and his immortal Ten Thousand when they cut 
their way through Asiatic hordes to the Black Sea in the year 401 B.C. 

When the danger was greatest, the 1st Marine Division might 
have accepted an opportunity for air evacuation of troops after the 
destruction of weapons and supplies to keep them from falling into 
the enemy's hands. But there was never a moment's hesitation. The 
decision of the commander and the determination of all hands to 
come out fighting with all essential equipment were in keeping with 
the highest traditions of the United States Marine Corps. 

R. McC. Pate 

General, U. S. Marine Corps, 
Commandant of the Marine Corps. 



J-tIHIS IS THE THIRD in a series of five volumes dealing with the oper- 
X ations of the United States Marine Corps in Korea during the 
period 2 August 1950 to 27 July 1953. Volume III presents in detail 
the operations of the 1st Marine Division and 1st Marine Aircraft 
Wing as a part of X Corps, USA, in the Chosin Reservoir campaign. 

The time covered in this book extends from the administrative 
landing at Wonsan on 26 October 1950 to the Hungnam evacuation 
which ended on Christmas Eve. The record would not be complete, 
however, without reference to preceding high-level strategic decisions 
in Washington and Tokyo which placed the Marines in northeast 
Korea and governed their employment. 

Credit is due the U. S. Army and Navy for support on land and 
sea, and the U. S. Navy and Air Force for support in the air. But 
since this is primarily a Marine Corps history, the activities of other 
services are described here only in sufficient detail to show Marine 
operations in their proper perspective. 

The ideal of the authors has been to relate the epic of the Chosin 
Reservoir breakout from the viewpoint of the man in the foxhole as 
well as the senior officer at the command post. Grateful acknowledg- 
ment is made to the 142 Marine officers and men who gave so gen- 
erously of their time by contributing 33S narratives, letters, and 
interviews. In many instances this material was so detailed that some 
could not be used, because of space limitations. But all will go into 
the permanent Marine archives for the benefit of future historians. 

Thanks are also extended to the Army, Navy, and Air Force, as 
well as Marine officers, who offered valuable comments and criticisms 
after reading the preliminary drafts of chapters. Without this assist- 
ance no accurate and detailed account could have been written. 

The maps contained in this volume, as in the previous ones, have 
been prepared by the Reproduction Section, Marine Corps Schools, 
Quantico, Virginia. The advice of officers of the Current History 
branch of the Office of the Chief of Military History, Department of 
the Army, has also been of aid in the preparation of these pages. 

E. W. Snedeker 
Major General, U. S. Marine Corps, 
Assistant Chief of Staff, G~3». 



I Problems of Victory 


Decision to Cross the 38th Parallel— Surrender Message to 
nkpa Forces — MacArthur's Strategy of Celerity — Logistical 
Problems of Advance — Naval Missions Prescribed — X Corps 
Relieved at Seoul — Joint Planning for Wonsan Landing 

II The Wonsan Landing 


ROK Army Captures Wonsan— Marine Loading and Embarka- 
tion — Two Weeks of Mine Sweeping — Operation Yo-Yo— 
Marine Air First at Objective— MacArthur Orders Advance to 
Border— Landing of 1st Marine Division 

III First Blood at Kojo 43 

1/1 Sent to Kojo— Marine Positions in Kojo Area — The Ail- 
Night Fight of Baker Company— 2/1 Ordered to Kojo— 
Security Provided for Wonsan Area — Marines Relieved at 

IV Majon-ni and Ambush Alley 6l 

Marines Units Tied in for Defense — Political Aspects of 
Mission- — Roads Patrolled by Rifle Companies — Air Drop of 
Supplies Requested— First Attack on Perimeter— KMC Bat- 
talion Sent to Majon-ni — Movement of 1st Marines to Chig- 


V Red China to the Rescue 79 

Chinese in X Corps Zone — Introducing the New Enemy — 
Communist Victory in Civil War — Organization of the CCF 
—The Chinese Peasant as a Soldier — CCF Arms and Equip- 

and Tactics 

VI The Battle of Sudong 95 

The MSR from Hungnam to Yudam-ni — ROKs Relieved by 
7th Marines— CCF Counterattack at Sudong — Two Marine 
Battalions Cut Off— End of NKPA Tank Regiment— The 
Fight for How Hill — Disappearance of CCF Remnants — 
Koto-ri Occupied by 7th Marines 




VII Advance to the Chosin Reservoir 125 

Attacks on Wonsan-Hungnam MSR — Appraisals of the New 
Enemy — The Turning Point of 15 November- — Changes in 
X Corps Mission — Marine Preparations for Trouble— Supplies 
Trucked to Hag am— Confidence of UN Command— Marine 
Concentration on MSR 

VIII Crisis at Yudam-ni 151 

Marine Attack on 27 November — Marine Disposition Before 
CCF Attack— The Battle of Northwest Ridge — Chinese Seize 
Hill 1403— Fighting at 3/5's CP— The Battle of North Ridge 

IX Fox Hill 177 

Encirclement of Company C of RCT-7 — Fox Company at 
Toktong Pass — Marine Counterattacks on North Ridge — Sec- 
ond Night's Attacks on Fox Hill— Not Enough Tents for 
Casualties— The Turning Point of 30 November 

X Hagaru's Night of Fire 197 

Four-Mile Perimeter Required — Attempts to Clear MSR — 
Intelligence as to CCF Capabilities — Positions of Marine Units 
—CCF Attacks from the Southwest— East Hill Lost to Enemy 
—The Volcano of Supporting Fires— Marine Attacks on 
East Hill 

XI Task Force Drysdale 221 

CCF Attacks on 2/1 at Koto-ri — Convoy Reinforced by Marine 
Tanks— The Fight in Hell Fire Valley— Attack of George 
Company on East Hill — High Level Command Conference — 
CCF Attacks of 1 December at Hagaru— Rescue of U. S. Army 
Wounded — First Landings on Hagaru Airstrip 

XII Breakout From Yudam-ni 249 

Joint Planning for Breakout — The Fight for Hills 14 19 and 
1542 — March of 1/7 Over the Mountains— Attack of 3/5 on 

1- 2 December— The Ridgerunners of Toktong Pass— CCF 
Attacks on Hills 1276 and 1542— Advance of Darkhorse on 

2- 3 December— Entry into Hagaru Perimeter 

XIII Regroupment at Hagaru 277 

4,312 Casualties Evacuated by Air— 537 Replacements Flown 
to Hagaru — Air Drops of Ammunition — Planning for Break- 
out to Koto-ri— 3/1 Relieved by RCT-5 at Hagaru— East Hill 
Retaken from Chinese— Attack of RCT-7 to the South- 
Advance of the Division Trains 


XIV Onward From Koto-ri 305 

Assembly of Division at Koto-ri — Activation of Task Force 
Dog — Air Drop of Bridge Sections — -Division Planning for 
Attack— Battle of 1 /l in the Snowstorm— Advance of RCT-7 
and RCT-5— Marine Operations of 9 and 10 December- 
Completion of Division Breakout 

XV The Hungnam Redeployment 353 

Marines Billeted in Hungnam Area— Embarkation of 1st 
Marine Division — The Last Ten Days at Hungnam — Marines 
Arrive at New Assembly Area— Contributions of Marine Avia- 
tion—Losses Sustained by the Enemy— Results of the Reservoir 

A Glossary of Technical Terms and Abbreviations ...... 361 

B Task Organization, 1st Marine Division 365 

C Naval Task Organization 373 

D Effective Strength of 1st Marine Division 379 

E 1st Marine Division Casualties 381 

F Command and Staff List, a October-15 December 1950, 1st Marine 

Division and 1st Marine Aircraft Wing . 383 

G Enemy Order of Battle . 397 

H Air Evacuation Statistics 399 

1 Unit Citations 401 

Bibliography 405 


Sixteen-page sections of photographs follow pages 148 and 276. 
Maps and Sketches 


1 Eighth Army Advances and Restraining Lines 4 

2 Area of Operations, 1st Marine Division, 

October-December 1950 12, 122 

3 Wonsan and Harbor 16 

4 Kojo Area 47 

5 Majon-m* and Road to Wonsan , , , . 62 

6 Majon-m Perimeter 64 

7 The Main Supply Route of the 1st Marine Division 97 

8 Battle of Sudong, 1st Phase 101 

9 Chinhung-ni Tank Fight, 4 November Ill 

10 Action of 4-5 November and Funchilin Pass 115 

11 1st Marine Division Zone and Objectives 130 

12 Yudam-ni 153 

13 Marine Attacks, 27 November 155 

14 Battle of Northwest Ridge 162 

15 Action at 3/5's CP 169 

16 The Battle of North Ridge 173 

17 Hagaru Defensive Perimeter 199 

18 East Hill Attacks, 29 November 212 

19 Koto-ri Perimeter, 28 November-7 December 223 

20 Attempts to Reinforce Hagaru, 28 November-1 December . . , 227 

21 Task Force Drysdale Ambush, 28 November 230 


Contents XI 

22 East Hill Attacks, 30 November . 237 

23 Breaking off Action, 30 November 252 

24 Breakout from Yudam-ni, 1 December 256 

25 Breakout from Yudam-ni, 2-4 December 269 

26 Seizure of East Hill and Chinese Counterattack 6-7 December . . 289 

27 Last Night at Hagara, 6-7 December 292 

28 Breakout from Hagaru to Koto-ri, 6-7 December 295 

29 Funchilin Pass and Advances of 8-10 December 310 

30 Hungnam Docks and Beaches 544 


Problems Of Victory 

Decision to Cross the $8tk Parallel — Surrender Message to 
Nkpa Forces — Mac Arthur's Strategy of Celerity — Logistical 
Problems of Advance—Naval Missions Prescribed — X Corps 
Relieved at Seoul — Joint Planning for Woman Landing 

It IS A lesson o£ history that questions of how to use a victory can 
be as difficult as problems of how to win one. This truism was 
brought home forcibly to the attention of the United Nations (UN) 
heads, both political and military, during the last week of September 
1950. Already, with the fighting still in progress, it had become evi- 
dent that the UN armies were crushing the forces of Communism in 
Korea, as represented by the remnants of the North Korean People's 
Army (nkpa). 

Only a month before, such a result would have seemed a faint and 
unrealistic hope. Late in August the hard-pressed Eighth U. S. Army 
in Korea (eusak) was defending that southeast corner of the penin- 
sula known as the Pusan Perimeter. 

"Nothing fails like success," runs a cynical French proverb, and 
the truth of this adage was demonstrated militarily when the danger- 
ously over-extended nkpa forces paid the penalty of their tenuous 
supply line on 15 September 1950. That was the date of the X Corps 
amphibious assault at Inchon, with the 1st Marine Division as landing 
force spearheading the advance on Seoul. 

X Corps was the strategic anvil of a combined operation as the 
h'ghth Army jumped off next day to hammer its way out of the Pusan 
er 'meter and pound northward toward Seoul. When elements of the 
too UN forces met just south of the Republic of Korea (ROK) 



The Chosin Reservoir Campaign 

capital on 26 September, the routed nkpa remnants were left only 
the hope of escaping northward across the 38th parallel. 1 

The bold strategic plan leading up to this victory — one of the most 
decisive ever won by U. S. land, sea and air forces — was largely the 
concept of General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, USA, who was 
Commander in Chief of the United Nations Command (cincuNc) 
as well as U. S. Commander in Chief in the Far East (cinCFE) . It 
was singularly appropriate, therefore, that he should have returned 
the political control of the battle-scarred ROK capital to President 
Syngman Rhee on 29 September, Marine officers who witnessed the 
ceremony have never forgotten the moving spectacle of the American 
general and the fiery Korean patriot, both past their 70th birthdays, 
as they stood together under the shell-shattered skylight of the Gov- 
ernment Palace. 2 

Decis'w?i to Cross the 38th Parallel 

"Where do we go from here?" would hardly have been an oversim- 
plified summary of the questions confronting UN leaders when it be- 
came apparent that the nkpa forces were defeated. In order to 
appraise the situation, it is necessary to take a glance at preceding 

As early as 19 July, the dynamic ROK leader had made it plain 
that he did not propose to accept the pre-invasion status quo. He 
served notice that his forces would unify Korea by driving to the 
Manchurian border. Since the Communists had violated the 38th Par- 
allel, the aged Rhee declared, this imaginary demarcation between 
North and South no longer existed. He pointed out that the sole 
purpose of the line in the first place had been to divide Soviet and 
American occupation zones after World War II, in order to facilitate 
the Japanese surrender and pave the way for a democratic Korean 

In May 1948, such a government had come about in South Korea 
by popular elections, sponsored and supervised by the UN. These 
elections had been scheduled for all Korea but were prohibited by 

'The story of the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade and Marine Aircraft Group 33 in the 
Posan Perimeter has been told in Volume I of this series, and Volume II deals with the 1st 
Marine Division and 1st Marine Aircraft Wing in the Inchon-Seoul operation. 

3 Col C. W. Harrison, interview (interv) 22 Nov 55. Unless otherwise noted, all 
interviews have been by the authors. 

Problems Of Victory 


the Russians in their zone. The Communists not only ignored the 
National Assembly in Seoul, but also arranged their own version of a 
governing body in Pyongyang two months later. The so-called North 
Korean People's Republic thus became another of the Communist 
puppet states set up by the USSR. 

That the United Nations did not recognize the North Korean state 
in no way altered its very real status as a politico-military fact. For 
obvious reasons, then, all UN decisions relating to the Communist 
state had to take into account the possibility of reactions by Soviet 
Russia and Red China, which shared Korea's northern boundary. 

At the outbreak of the conflict on 25 June 1950, the UN Security 
Council had, by a vote of 9-0, called for an immediate end to the 
fighting and the withdrawal of all nkpa forces to the 38th Parallel. 3 
This appeal having gone unheeded, the Council on 27 June recom- 
mended "... that the Members of the United Nations furnish such 
assistance to the Republic of Korea as may be necessary to repel the 
armed attack and to restore international peace and security in the 
area."* It was the latter authorization, supplemented by another reso- 
lution on 7 July, that led to military commitments by the United 
States and to the appointment of General MacArthur as over-all UN 

These early UN actions constituted adequate guidance in Korea 
until the Inchon landing and eusak's counteroffensive turned the tide. 
With the nkpa in full retreat, however, and UN Forces rapidly 
approaching the 38th Parallel, the situation demanded re-evaluation, 
including supplemental instructions to the military commander. The 
question arose as to whether the North Koreans should be allowed 
sanctuary beyond the parallel, possibly enabling them to reorganize 
tor new aggression. It will be recalled that Syngman Rhee had al- 
ready expressed his thoughts forcibly in this connection on 19 July; 
and the ROK Army translated thoughts into action on 1 October by 
crossing the border. 

The UN, in its 7 July resolution, having authorized the United 
States to form a unified military force and appoint a supreme com- 
gander in Korea, it fell upon the Administration of President Harry 
S, Truman to translate this dictum into workaday reality. Aiding the 

fm'i J i Deptof Statc > Guidc *<> the UN in Korea (Washington, 1951) . Yugoslavia abstained 
'Ibid V ° tC ' ftntJ the USSR * the " WeoH'nB lhe Council, was absent. 


Problems Of Victory 


Chief Executive and his Cabinet in this delicate task with its far- 
reaching implications were the Joint U. S. Chiefs of Staff (JCS) . The 
Army member, General J. Lawton Collins, also functioned as Execu- 
tive Agent of JCS for the United Nations Command in Korea, thus 
keeping intact the usual chain of command from the Army Chief of 
Staff to General MacArthur, who now served both the U. S. and UN. r ' 

Late in August, two of the Joint Chiefs, General Collins and Ad- 
miral Forrest P. Sherman, USN, had flown to Japan to discuss the 
forthcoming Inchon landing with General MacArthur. In the course 
of the talks, it was agreed that cincuNC's objective should be the 
destruction of the North Korean forces, and that ground operations 
should be extended beyond the 3Sth Parallel to achieve this goal. 
The agreement took the form of a recommendation, placed before 
Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson on 7 September. 8 

A week later, JCS informed MacArthur that President Truman had 
approved certain "conclusions" relating to the Korean conflict, but 
that these were not yet to be construed as final decisions. Among 
other things, the Chief Executive accepted the reasoning that UN 
Forces had a legal basis for engaging the nkpa north of the Parallel. 
MacArthur would plan operations accordingly, JCS directed, but 
would carry them out only after being granted explicit permission. 7 

The historic authorization, based on recommendations of the Na- 
tional Security Council to President Truman, reached General Head- 
quarters (GHQ), Tokyo, in a message dispatched by JCS on 27 

Your military objective is the destruction of the North Korean Armed 
Forces. In attaining tin's objective you are authorized to conduct military 
operations, including amphibious and airborne landings or ground operations 
north of the 38th Parallel in Korea, provided that at the time of such opera- 
tions there has been no entry into North Korea by major Soviet or Chinese 
Communist Forces, no announcement of intended entry, nor a threat to 
counter our operations militarily in North Korea. . , . 
The lengthy message abounded in paragraphs of caution, reflecting 
tn e desire of both the UN and the United States to avoid a general 
w ar. Not discounting the possibility of intervention by Russia or Red 
Cni na, JCS carefully outlined MacArthur's courses of action for sev- 

*Maj J, f. Schnabel, USA, Comments on preliminary manuscript (Comments). 
, JCS memo to Secretary of Defense (SecDef), 7 Sep 50, Unless otherwise stated, copies 
°*7MJ messages cited are on file in Historical Branch, HQMC. 

,„JC5 message (msg) WAR 91680, 15 Sep 50; Harry S. Truman, hUmom, 2 vols 
<Garden City, 1955-1956). II. 359. 


The Cbosin Reservoir Campaign 

eral theoretical situations. Moreover, he was informed that certain 
broad restrictions applied regardless of developments: 

, . . under no circumstances, however, will your forces cross the Man- 
churian or USSR borders of Korea and, as a matter of policy, no non-Korean 
Ground Forces will be used in the northeast provinces bordering the Soviet 
Union or in the area along the Manchurian border. Furthermore, support of 
your operations north or south of the 38th parallel will not include Air or 
Naval action against Manchuria or against USSR territory. . . , 8 

Thus MacArthur had the green light, although the signal was 
shaded by various qualifications, On 29 September, the new Secretary 
of Defense, George C. Marshall, told him in a message, ". . . "We 
want you to feel unhampered tactically and strategically to proceed 
north of 38th parallel. , . ."• 

Surrender Message to NKPA Forces 

Meanwhile, a step was taken by the U. S. Government on 27 Sep- 
tember in the hope that hostilities might end without much further 
loss or risk for either side. By dispatch, JCS authorized MacArthur to 
announce, at his discretion, a suggested surrender message to the 
nkpa. 10 Framed by the U. & State Department, the message was 
broadcast on 1 October and went as follows: 

To: The Commander-in-chief, North Korean Forces. The early and total 
defeat and complete destruction of your Armed Forces and war making 
potential is now inevitable. In order that the decision of the United Nations 
may be carried out with a minimum of further loss of life and destruction of 
property, I, as the United Nations Commander-in-Chief, call upon you and 
the forces under your command, in whatever part of Korea situated, forth- 
with to lay down your arms and cease hostilities under such military super- 

• ICS msg 92801, 27 Sep 50; Truman, Memoirs, II, 360; MajGen Courtney Whitney, 
MacArthur, His Rendezvous with History (New York, 195(5), 397. Commenting on the 
JCS authorization Gen MacArthur stated, "My directive from the JCS on 27 September 
establishing my military objective as '. . . the destruction of the North Korean Armed Forces' 
and in the accomplishment thereof authorizing me to '. . . conduct military operations, 
including amphibious and airborne landings or ground operations north of the 38 th parallel 
in Korea. , .' made it mandatory rather than discretionary . . . that the UN Forces operate 
north of that line against enemy remnants situated in the north. Moreover, all plans 
governing operations north of that Parallel were designed to implement the resolution 
passed by the UN General assembly on 7 October 1950, and were specifically approved by 
the JCS. Indeed, the military objectives assigned by the JCS, and the military-political 
objectives established by said resolution of the UN could have been accomplished in no 
other way." Gen D. MacArthur letter (Itr) to MajGen E. W. Snedekcr, 24 Feb 56. 

'JCS msg 92985, 29 Sep 50. For a differing interpretation see Whitney, MacArthur, 398. 

'* JCS msg 92762, 27 Sep 50. 

Problems Of Victory 7 

vision as I may direct and I call upon you at once to liberate all United 
Nations prisoners of war and civilian internees under your control and to 
make adequate provision for their protection, care, maintenance, and imme- 
diate transportation to such places as I indicate. 

North Korean forces, including prisoners of war in the hands of the 
United Nations Command, will continue to be given the care indicated by 
civilized custom and practice and permitted to return to their homes as soon 
as practicable. 

I shall anticipate your early decision upon this opportunity to avoid the 
further useless shedding of blood and destruction of property. 11 

The surrender broadcast evoked no direct reply from Kim II Sung, 
Premier of North Korea and Commander in Chief of the nkpa. 
Instead, the reaction of the Communist bloc came ominously from 
another quarter. Two days after MacArtbur's proclamation, Red 
China's Foreign Minister Chou En-Lai informed K. M. Panikkar, the 
Indian Ambassador in Peiping, that China would intervene in the 
event UN forces crossed the 38th Parallel. He added, however, that 
such action would not be forthcoming if only ROK troops entered 
North Korea. 12 

It will be recalled that the JCS authorization of 27 September per- 
mitted operations north of the Parallef ' . . . provided that at the time 
of such operations there has been no entry into North Korea by 
major Soviet or Chinese Communist Forces, no announcement of in- 
tended entry, nor a threat to counter our operations militarily in 

North Korea " ia In view of the last two provisos, MacArthur's 

plans for crossing the border could conceivably have been cancelled 
after Chou's announcement. But optimism over the course of the war 
ran high among the United Nations at this time, and cincuNC shortly 
received supplemental authority from both the UN and JCS — the one 
establishing legal grounds for an incursion into North Korea, the 
other reaffirming military concurrence at the summit. In a resolution 
adopted™ 7 October, the United Nations directed that 

" CiflCUNC msg to CinC North Korean Forces, 1 Oct 59, in EUSAK War Diary (WD), 

«&? °I S £ C 11 ; JCS ms S 9^62, 27 Sep 50. . , 

Vii Ambassador, England msg to Secretary of State, J Oct 50; Truman, Memoirs, II, 
Hp C j T!le infofm ation was forwarded to Tokyo but MacArthur later claimed that 
25 had . never been informed of it. Military Situation in the Far East. Hearing before the 
am mtt tee on Armed Services and the Committee on Foreign Relations United States Senate 
iHih y 'a COn ^ Con £ fets i First Session, To Conduct an Inquiry into the Military Situation 
the Far East and the facts surrounding the relief of General of the Army Douglas Mac- 
«<twr from his assignments in that area (Washington, 1951, 5 vols.), (hereafter Afar- 

!?£H eaT >>>St), 109. 
Itali„ mS f a 2801 ' 27 Sep 50 : Tr^mal, . Memoirs, II, 360; » 


The Chasm Reservoir Campaign 

All appropriate steps be taken to ensure conditions of stability throughout 
Korea and all constituent acts be taken . . , for the establishment of a 
unified, independent and democratic Government in the Sovereign State of 
Korea. . . M 

Since the enemy had ignored his surrender ultimatum, MacArthur 
could attend to the UN objectives only by occupying North Korea 
militarily and imposing his will, JCS, therefore, on 9 October ampli- 
fied its early instructions to the Commander in Chief as follows: 

Hereafter, in the event of open or covert employment anywhere in Korea 
of major Chinese Communist units, without prior announcement, you should 
continue the action as long as, in your judgment, action by forces now under 
your control offers a reasonable chance of success. In any case you will obtain 
authorization from Washington prior to taking any military actions 
objectives in Chinese territory. 13 

Mac Arthur's Strategy of Celerity 

Anticipating his authority for crossing the 38th Parallel, cinCUNC on 
26 September had directed his Joint Special Plans and Operations 
Group (jspog) to develop a plan for operations north of the border. 
He stipulated that Eighth Army should make the main effort in either 
the west or the east, and that however this was resolved, 'there should 
be an amphibious envelopment on the opposite coast — at Chin nam po, 
Wonsan, or elsewhere. 10 Despite recommendations of key staff mem- 
bers, MacArthur did not place X Corps under eusak command for 
the forthcoming campaign but retained General Almond's unit as a 
separate tactical entity under GHQ. 17 

jspog, headed by Brigadier General Edwin K. Wright, Mac- 
Arthur's G-3, rapidly fitted an earlier staff study into the framework 
of cinGUNC's directive. And the following day, 27 September, a 
proposed Operation Plan (OpnPlan) 9-50 was laid before the com- 
mander in chief, 18 Thts detailed scheme of action evolved from two 
basic assumptions: (l) that the bulk of the NKPA had already been 

" Resolution of 7 Oct 50 in Guide to the UN in Korea, 20. 
11 JCS msg 93709, 9 Oct 50 ; Truman, Memtiin, II, 36"2 ; Whitney, Mae Arthur, 404. 
" C/S FECOM memo to JSPOG, 26 Sep 50. Copy at Office of The Chief of Military 
History (OCMH). 

" Maj J. F. Schnabel, The Korean Con/lid: Policy, Mt Direction. MS at OCMH. 
See also: Capt M. DIumenson, "MacArthur's Divided Command,- Army, vii, no. 4 (Nov 
56), 39-44, 65, 

"Schnabel, Th* 

destroyed; and (2) that neither the USSR nor Red China would 
intervene, covertly or openly. 

Eighth Array, according to plan, would attack across the 38th 
Parallel, directing its main effort in the west, along the axis Kaesong- 
Sarnvon-Pyongyang (see Map 1), jspog designated the latter city 

capital of the People's Democratic Republic of Korea — as final 
objective of the first phase. Further, it recommended that eusak's 
drive begin in mid-October, to be followed within a week by a 
X Corps amphibious landing at Wonsan on the east coast. After 
establishing a beachhead, Almond's force would attack 125 road miles 
westward through the Pyongyang-Wonsan corridor and link up with 
General Walkers army, thereby trapping North Korean elements 
falling back from the south.™ 

Jspog suggested that both commands should then advance north 
to the line Chongju-Kunuri-Yongwon-Hamhung-Hungnam, rang- 
ing roughly from 50 to 100 miles below the Manchurian border. 
Only ROK elements would proceed beyond the restraining line, in 
Jjeping with the spirit and letter of the 27 September dispatch from 

Major General Doyle O. Hickey, acting as cinCUNC's chief of staff 
during General Almond's tour in the field, approved the jspog draft 
°f 28 September, It thereby became OpnPIan 9-50 officially. Mac- 
Arthur forwarded a summary to JCS the same day, closing his mes- 
sage with this reassurance: 

There is no indication at present of entry into North Korea by major Soviet 

or Chinese Communist Forces. 21 

Within three days, he received word from the Joint Chiefs that 
^ey approved his plan, 22 On 2 October it became the official operation 
order for the attack. 23 

Logistical Problems of Advance 

P_ n 29 September, the day before he received the JCS endorsement of 
nis plan, General MacArthur arrived in Seoul to officiate at the cere- 

_ ^ — 

„ ibid., ant! CinCFE OpnPlan 9-50. Copy at OCMH. 
397-^n ,CFE mSfi C 6is °5< 28 Se P 50 i Truman, Memoirs, II, 361; Whitney, Mac Arthur, 

Wd? ^' Sp 9Z975 » ? 9 Se P 50 Truman, Memoirs, II, 361; Whitney, MacArthur, 398. 
Thue m r ' le n3ttative ar >d in footnotes are given as of the place of on 

Thus ™ m e na(ri,tiv{f ar ^ in footnotes are given as of the place of origin of the action, 
*?tm* Sfc Ptember in Washington was actually the 30th in Tokyo. 
UNC Operation Order {QpnO) 2, 2 Oct 50. 

10 The Chosin Reservoir 

mony restoring control of South Korea to the legal ROK government. 
During the visit, he met with the principals named in the Task Organi- 
zation of OpnPlan 9-50: 
Eighth U. S. Army LtGen Walton H. Walker, USA 

Naval Forces Far East VAdrn C. Turner Joy, USN 

Far East Air Forces (FEAF) LtGen George E. Stratemeyer, 


X Corps MajGen Edward M. Almond, USA 

Missing from the top-level conference, Major General Walter L. 
Weible, USA, of the Japan Logistical Command, probably was already 
aware of things to come. 24 

MacArthur outlined his concept of operations in North Korea to 
those present. He set 20 October as D-Day for the Wonsan amphibious 
assault by the 1st Marine Division, which, with all X Corps Troops; 
would embark for the operation from Inchon, The 7th Infantry Divi- 
sion, also a part of X Corps, would motor 200 miles to Pusan and 
there load out for an administrative landing behind the Marines. 25 

Initial overland routing of the 7th Division was made necessary by 
problems arising out of Inchon's limited port facilities. General Mac- 
Arthur gave eusak the logistic responsibility for all UN Forces in 
Korea, including X Corps. To carry out this charge, General Walker 
could rely on only two harbors, Pusan and Inchon. There were no 
other ports in South Korea capable of supporting large-scale military 
operations. Meeting the tight Wonsan schedule would require that X 
Corps have immediate priority over the whole of Inchon's capacity, 
even with the 7th Division being shunted off on Pusan. And it still 
remained for Walker to mount and sustain Eighth Army's general 
offensive before the Wonsan landing! 

In the light of logistical considerations, then, Wonsan had more 
than mere tactical significance as the objective of X Corps. Its seizure 
would open up the principal east-coast port of Korea, together with 
vital new road and rail junctions. But while MacArthur had decided 
on an amphibious assault by a separate tactical unit as the proper stroke, 
there existed a school of dissenters among his closest advisers. Gen- 
erals Hickey and Wright had recommended that X Corps be incorpo- 
rated into eusak at the close of the Inchon-Seoul Operation, Major 
General George L. Eberle, MacArthur's G-4, held that supplying X 
Corps in North Korea would be simpler if that unit were a part of 

* LtGen E. A. Almond, USA, (Ret.) Itr to Cot J. Meade, USA, 14 Jun 55. 

* Ibid. 

Problems Of Victory 


Eighth Army. And General Almond himself, while hardly a dissenter, 
had expected his corps to be placed under General Walker's command 
after the Seoul fighting.- 

Naval Missions Prescribed 

Logistical problems were magnified by the tight embarkation schedule 
laid out for the amphibious force. In submitting its proposed plan for 
North Korean operations to General MacArthur on 27 September, 
JSpog had listed the following "bare minimum time requirements:" 

For assembling assault shipping 6 days 

For planning 4 days 

For loading 6 days 

For sailing to Wonsan 4 days 

Thus it was estimated that the 1st Marine Division could assault 
Wonsan 10 days after receiving the order to load out of Inchon, pro- 
vided that shipping had already been assembled and planning accom- 
plished concurrently. 27 

Following cincuNrc's meeting in the capi col building on the 29th, 
General Almond called a conference of division commanders and staff 
members at his X Corps Headquarters in Ascom City, near Inchon, 
MacArthur's strategy was outlined to the assembled officers, so that 
planning could commence on the division level. Almond set 15 October 
as D-Day for the Wonsan landing. He based this target date on the 
assumption that Eighth Army would pass through and relieve X Corps 
°n 3 October, the date on which the necessary shipping was to begin 
arriving at Inchon. 28 

, On 29 September, the 1st Marine Division was still committed tac- 
tically above Seoul, two regiments blocking and one attacking. If the 

C J,/ *^-' Schnabcl, The Korean Conflict; Bfumenson, "MacArthur s Divided Command." 
y en -MacArthur stated: "If such a dissension existed it was never brought to my attention, 

o the contrary, the decision to retain as a function of GHQ command and coordination 
had ^' gnttl •A lm y and X Corps until such time as a juncture between the two forces 
been effected was, so far as I Know, based upon the unanimous thinking of the senior 

embers of my staff , , MacArthur Itr, 24 Feb 56. Gen Wright has stated: "Neither 
!h n * I Hickey, General Eberle, nor I objected to the plan, but we did feel that X Corps 
u d have been made patt of the Eighth Army immediately after the dose of the Inchon- 

«^ ^ration." MajGen E, K. Wright, USA, Itr to MajGen E. W. Snedeker, 1 6 Feb 56. 
Ocmh mera ° t0 C/S * FECOM: " Plans for futufe opwau'ons," " Sep 50. Copy at 

tiZ ^^"Div Special Action Report for the Woman-Uamhung-Chos'm Reservoir Opera- 
' 8 Dec 30 (hereafter IstMarDiv SAR). 10. 

Problems Of Victory %% 

first vessels began arriving at Inchon on 3 October, the assault shipping 
would not be completely assembled until the 8th, according to the 
Jspog estimate. Four days would be required to get to the objective, 
leaving two days, instead of the planned six, for outloading the land- 
ing force. Neither Major General Oliver P. Smith, Commanding Gen- 
eral (CG) IstMarDiv, nor his staff regarded this as a realistic 
schedule. 29 

The Marine officers came away from the conference without knowl- 
edge of the types and numbers of ships that would be made available 
to the division. And since they had no maps of the objective area and 
no intelligence , data whatever, it was manifestly impossible to lay 
nrm plans along either administrative or tactical lines. 30 

Vice Admiral Joy, Commander Naval Forces Far East (ComNavFE) , 
'ssued his instructions on 1 October in connection with the forthcoming 
operations. To Vice Admiral Arthur D. Struble's Joint Task Force 7 
UTF-7), which had carried out the Inchon attack, he gave these 

To maintain a naval blockade of Korea's East coast south of v. 
2. To furnish naval gunfire and air support to Eighth Army as directed. 

3- To conduct pre-D-Day naval operations for the Wonsan landing as 

4 - To load and transport X Corps to Wonsan. providing cover and support 
en route. rr 

5- to? Se ' Ze ^ amphibious assault, occupy, and defend a beachhead in the 
Wonsan area on D-Day. 

' I? Provide naval gunfire, air, and initial logistical support to X Corps at 
wonsan until relieved. 31 

M , J 7^, miral J°y' s directive also warned: "The strong probability exists 
la t the ports and possible landing beaches under control of the North 
i ° teans have been recently mined. The sighting of new mines floating 
the area indicates that mines are being seeded along the coast" 32 

X Corps Relieved at Seoul 

fan r , eIat . ed events > decisions, and plans of September 1950 had un- 
_^ed^with startling rapidity. Before the scattered UN forces could 

"ibid ' ofe! }< 370-371. 

n fkHhi vFE OpnPhn 113-50, Copy at OCMH. 


The Chosin Reservoir Campaign 

shift from one phase of operations to another, a transitional gap de- 
veloped during the early days of October. Orders might flow forth in 
abundance, but not until MacArthur's land, sea and air forces wound 
up one campaign could they begin another. Thus, from the stand- 
point of Marine operations, the first week of October is more a story 
of the Inchon-Seoul action than of preparations for the Wonsan 

On 2 October, when Eighth Army commenced the relief of X Corps, 
General Almond ordered the 7th Infantry Division to begin displacing 
to Pusan by motor and rail. 33 There was as yet no such respite for 
the 1st Marine Division, which on the same day lost 16 killed in action 
(KIA) and 81 wounded (WIA). Practically all of the casualties 
were taken by the 7th Regiment, then approaching Uijongbu on the 
heels of the enemy. 3 * 

Despite the limited planning data in the hands of the 1st Marine 
Division, General Smith's staff put a cautious foot forward on 3 Octo- 
ber. 35 Word of the pending Wonsan operation went out by message 
to all subordinate units, with a tentative task organization indicating 
the formation of three Regimental Combat Teams (RCTs) . 

The 1st and 7 th Marines were earmarked to launch the amphibious 
attack. Each would plan on the basis of employing two battalions in 
the assault. These battalions were to embark on LSTs and hit the 
beach in LVTs. All tactical units were to combat-load out of Inchon. 
And although still uninformed as to available shipping, the Marine 
planners named likely embarkation groups and listed tentative arrange- 
ments for loading tanks and amphibious vehicles 38 

The following day saw the publication of X Corps OpnO 4, specify- 
ing subordinate unit missions. The 7th Infantry Division, together 
with the S>2d and 96th Field Artillery (FA) Battalions, was instructed 
to mount out of Pusan and to land at Wonsan on order (see Map 2). 
These tasks were assigned to the 1st Marine Division: 

1. Report immediately to the Attack Force Commander (Commander, Am- 
phibious Group One) of the Seventh Fleet as the landing force for the 
Wonsan attack. 

" X Corps OpnO 3, 2 Oct 50. 

"MajGen Oliver P. Smith: Chronicle of the Operations of the 1st Murine Division 
During the First Nine Months of the Korean War, 1950-1951 (MS), (hereafter, Smith, 
Chronicle), 54. 

"Gen Wright stated, "There was definitely not a complete lack of planning data. I 
doubt if any operation ever had more planning data available. It may not have been in 
■ mds on 3 October, but it was available.- Wright ltr, 16 Feb 5<S. 
r msg to Subordinate Units: "Planning Information." 3 Oct 50. 

Problems Of Victory 


2. Seize and secure X Corps base of operations at Wonsan, protect the 
Wonsan Airfield, and continue such operations ashore as assigned. 

3. Furnish logistic support for all forces ashore until relieved by Corps 
Shore Party.37 

As Almond's order went out for distribution on 4 October, eusak's 
1st Cavalry Division, bound for Kaesong, passed through the 5th 
Marines northwest of Seoul. Simultaneously, the II ROK Corps began 
assembling along the road to Uijongbu, captured by the 7th Marines 
the previous day. 38 

After 20 days in the line, the weary battalions of the 5 th Marines 
retired on 5 October across the Han River to an assembly area at Inchon. 
They were followed on the 6th by the 1st Regiment, and on the next 
day by the 7th Marines. The withdrawal of the latter unit completed 
the relief of X Corps, and General Almond's command officially re- 
verted to GHQ Reserve. 30 

October 7th also marked the displacement of the 1st Marine Division 
command post (CP) to Inchon, where planning and reality had finally 
merged to die extent that preparations for Wonsan could begin in 
earnest. Two days earlier, Vice Admiral Struble had re-created JTF-7 
out of his Seventh Fleet; and by publication of bis OpnO 16-50 on 
fhe same date, 5 October, he set in motion the operational elements 
involved in the projected amphibious envelopment. His new task or- 
ganization, almost identical to that which had carried out the Inchon 
Operation with historic dispatch, was as follows: 

TF 95 (Advance Force) RAdm Allen E. Smith 

TG 95.2 (Covering & Support) RAdm Charles C. Hartman 

TG 95.6 (Minesweeping) Capt Richard T. Spofford 

TF 90 (Attack Force) RAdm James H. Doyle 

TF 79 (Logistical Support Force) Capt Bernard L. Austin 

rp 77 (Fast Carder Force) RAdm Edward C. Ewen 

TG 96.8 (Escort Carrier Group) RAdm Richard W. Ruble 

TG 96.2 (Patrol & Reconnaissance) RAdm George R. Henderson 

TG 70.X (Flagship Group) Capt Irving T. Duke 

. Struble, who had directed the Inchon assault from the bridge of the 
^SS Rochester, would now fly his flag in the recently arrived USS 

of the Korean war.' 10 P 3 1 15 early Stage 

ll" ?»iS aI J^ c P Mt l5 t M =* D i v . in CinCPatFlt Interim EmlmiioH Rp/ #1, annex DD, 
*«SffiB! (HD), Oct 50; X Corps Op,,0 4, 4 Oct 50. 

>■ ji-, *> Chronicle, 54, 
Jf< 55. 
^omSeventhFIt OpnO 16-30, 5 Oct 50. 

Problems Of Victory 17 

Joint Planning for Woman Landing 

The Seventh Fleet directive of 5 October dispatched both the Fast Car- 
eer and the Patrol and Reconnaissance Forces of JTF-7 on the usual 
search and attack missions preliminary to an amphibious assault. Task 
Force 77, consisting of the carriers Boxer, Leyle, Philip pine Sea and 
Valley Forge, escorted by a light cruiser and 24 destroyers, was under 
orders to direct 50 per cent of the preparatory air effort against the 
local defenses of Wonsan. Simultaneously, the Advance Force, with 
"ts cruisers, destroyers and mine sweeping units, would close in to shell 
the target and wrest control of the offshore waters from the enemy. 41 
Topographic and hydrographic studies made available to the Attack 
ana Landing Forces showed Wonsan to be a far more accessible target 
than Inchon (see Map 3). Nestling in the southwestern corner of 
Y °nghung Bay, 80 miles above the 38th Parallel, the seaport offers 
one of the best natural harbors in Korea. A vast anchorage lies sheltered 
tn the lee of Kalma Peninsula which, finger-like, juts northward from 
a bend in the coastline. Tides range from seven to 14 inches, fog is 
fare, and currents are weak. Docks can accommodate vessels drawing 
r °m 12 to 25 feet, and depths in the bay run from 10 fathoms in the 
ou ter anchorage to 15 feet just offshore.* 2 

Beaches around Wonsan are of moderate gradient, and the floor at 
water's edge consists of hard-packed sand. Though slightly wet Iand- 
^"S s might be expected, amphibious craft could easily negotiate any 
the several desirable approaches. The coastal plain, ranging from 
yards to two miles in depth, provides an acceptable lodgment area, 
ut the seaward wall of the Taebaek mountain range renders inland 
e gress difficult from the military standpoint. 
In 1940, the population of Wonsan included 69,115 Koreans and 
=205 Japanese, the latter subsequently being repatriated to their home- 
land after World War II. Under the Japanese program of industrializa- 
!°n, the city had become Korea's petroleum refining center. The con- 
i ctiori of port facilities, railways, and roads kept pace with the 
ire? s aranCe ° f Cfackin S P lants ' supporting industries, and huge storage 


Action e i tesc "Ption of Wonsan is based upon: GHQ, FECOM, Military Intelli 
6 w° f™ 1 Stilff < Thca t«r Intelligence Division, Geographic Branch, Terrain 

i)o g m, — smi oi.ui, i nearer juireiugente urasion, vjeog 

°Oci SS* V %»* sec v > IstMarDiv OpnO lj-50, annex B, sec 2, 1, 3, 

30 : and l^MarDiv SAR, annex B (hereafter G-2 SAR), sec 2, 1. 

The Chos'm Reservoir Campaign 

Two air6elds served the locale in 1950. One of these, situated on 
the coast about five miles north of the seaport, was of minor importance. 
The other, known as Wonsan Airfield, on Kalma Peninsula across the 
harbor, ranked high as a military prize. Spacious and accessible, it was 
an excellent base from which to project air coverage over all of Korea 
and the Sea of Japan. The Japanese first developed the field as an air 
adjunct to the naval base at Wonsan ; but after World War II, a North 
Korean aviation unit moved in and used it until July 1950. Thereafter, 
with the skies dominated by the UN air arm, Wonsan Airfield tempo- 
rarily lost all military significance. Its vacant runways, barracks, and 
dispersal areas were given only passing attention in the UN strategic 
bombing pattern, although the nearby industrial complex was 

In addition to being situated on an excellent harbor, Wonsan is the 
eastern terminus of the Seoul-Wonsan corridor, the best of the few 
natural routes across the mountainous nation. This 115-mile road and 
rail passageway, once considered as a possible overland approach for 
X Corps, separates the northern and southern divisions of the Taebaek 
range, which rises precipitously from Korea's east coast to heights of 
5000 feet. Railroads and highways, primitive by western standards, 
also trace the seaward base of the Taebaek Mountains to connect Won- 
san with Hamhung in the north and Pusan far to the south. Still an- 
other road and railway leads to Pyongyang, 100 miles across the nar- 
row neck of the peninsula in the western piedmont. 

The climate along Korea's northeast coast is comparable to that of 
the lower Great Lakes region in the United States. Mean summer tem- 
peratures range between 80 and 88 degrees, although highs of 103 
degrees have been recorded. Winter readings drop as low as -7 
degrees, but the season is usually temperate with winds of low velocity 
Despite light snowfalls and moderate icing, the period from October 
through March is best suited to military operations, for the heavy rain* 
of spring and summer create difficulties on the gravel-topped roads. 

Although members of Admiral Doyle's Amphibious Group On* 
(PhibGruOne) staff met with planners of the 1st Marine Division 2 1 
Inchon early in October, it soon became apparent that the projected 
D-Day of 15 October could not be realized. Maps and intelligence daW 
necessary for planning did not reach the Attack Force-Landing Fore* 
team until 6 October. The relief of X Corps by eusak was completed 
not on 3 October as General Almond had anticipated, but on the 7th 

Problems Of Victory 19 

Moreover, the first transport vessels to reach Inchon ran behind sched- 
ule, and they had not been pre-loaded with a ten-day level of Class I, 
U, and V supplies, as was promised. Planning and outloading conse- 
quently started late and from scratch, with the result that D-Day 
• ■ . was moved progressively back to a tentative date of 20 October." 43 

" IstMarDiv SAR, 10, The classes of supply are as follows; I, rations; II, supplies and 
qmpment, such as normal clothing, weapons, vehicles, radios etc, for which specific allow- 
ances have been established; III, petroleum products, gasoline, oil and lubricants (POL) ; 

' $ ea ™ su PP"es and equipment, such as fortification and construction materials, cold 
Hm^^^ ^; f ° r which t s P edfic allowances have not been established; V, ammitni- 


The Wonsan Landing 

ROK Army Captures Woman—Marine Loading and Embarka- 
tion — Two Weeks of Mine Sweeping — Operation Yo-Yo — 
Marine Air First at Objective — Mac Arthur Orders Advance to 
Border— Landing of ist Marine Division 

ON 6 OCTOBER 1950, after the arrival of the initial assault shipping 
at Inchon, General Smith ordered the 1st Marine Division to 
commence embarkation on the 8 th. Similar instructions were issued 
b y X Corps the following day. 1 Thus, the first troops and equipment 
w ere to be loaded even before the G-2 Section of the Landing Force 
could begin evaluating the enemy situation at the objective, since it was 
** until 8 October that the intelligence planners received X Corps' 
J pnO 4, published four days earlier. Summing up the outlook at the 
G-2 later reported: 
Inasmuch as subordinate units of the Division were scheduled to embark 
aboard ship some time prior to 15 October 1950, it was immediately obvious 
that preliminary intelligence planning, with its attendant problems of col- 
lection, processing, and distribution of information, and the procurement 
an d distribution of graphic aids, would be both limited and sketchy , , , For- 
tunately ... the section [G-2] had been previously alerted on the projected 
operation, and while elements of the Division were yet engaged with the 
enemy at Uijongbu, had requested reproductions of some 100 copies of 
Pertinent extracts of the janis (75) of Korea. Thus it was . , . that sub- 
0r dinate units would not be wholly unprepared for the coming operation. 2 
General Smith's OpnO 16-50, published on 10 October, climaxed 
e accelerated planning at Inchon. Worked out jointly by the staffs of 
^ llb GruOne and the 1st Marine Division, this directive covered 
, e Wonsan attack in detail and pinpointed subordinate unit 

,*stJtfarDiv Embarkation Order (EmbO) 2-50, 6 Oct 50; Smith, Notes, 394. 
* SAR, 2. JANIS is the abbreviation for Joint Army-Navy Intelligence Studies. 



The Chosin Reservoir Campaign 

Kalnia Peninsula was chosen as the point of assault, with two beaches 
yellow and blue, marked off on the eastern shore. Ten high-grounc 
objectives described the semicircular arc of the beachhead, which fo 
cused on Wonsan and fanned out as far as five miles inland. The Is 
and 7th Marines were to hit yellow and blue Beaches, respectivel; 
and drive inland to their assigned objectives. The 5th, upon betnj 
ordered ashore, would assemble west of Wonsan, prepared for furthe 
operations. Two battalions of the 11th Marines were to land on cal 
in direct support of the assault units, and the remainder of die artiller 
would initially function in general support. 

Other subordinate units drew the usual assignments. The Recofl 
naissance Company, after landing on order, was to screen the Division' 
left flank by occupying specified objectives. Attached to the 1st an< 
7th Regiments respectively, the 5th and 3d Korean Marine Corp 
(KMC) Battalions would also go ashore on call. 3 

ROK Army Captures Wonsan 

At 0815, 10 October, coincidentally with the publication of IstMarDi 
OpnO 16-50, troops of I ROK Corps, advancing rapidly up the eas 
coast of Korea, entered Wonsan. By evening of the next day, the RO* 
3d and Capital Divisions were mopping up minor resistance in ffi 
city and guarding the airfield on Kalma Peninsula* 

Overland seizure of the 1st Marine Division's amphibious objectrv 
did not come as a surprise either at GHQ in Tokyo or at General Smith 
CP aboard the Mount McK'mley in Inchon Harbor. General Mai 
Arthur had, in fact, prepared for this eventuality by considering 
alternate assault landing at Hungnam, another major seaport, aboi 
50 air miles north of Wonsan. On 8 October, therefore, the JSPO 
completed a modified version of cinCFE OpnPlan 9-50. Eighth Army 
mission— the capture of Pyongyang — remained unchanged in this draf 
but X Corps would now land ". . . in the vicinity of Hungnam in oro' 
to cut the lines of communications north of Wonsan and envelop * 
North Korean forces in that area." 

Although the choice of a new objective seemed logical on the ba s 
of the ROK Army's accomplishment, certain logistical obstacles 

* IstMarDiv OpnO 16-50, 10 Oct 50. 

4 EUSAK War Diary Summary {WD Sum), Oct 50, \4-\&. 

The Woman Landing 23 

once loomed in the path of the alternate plan. Not unaware of the 

most imposing of these, jspog commented: 

The harbor at Wonsan cannot accommodate at docks the large vessels 
lifting the 7th Division. Since most of the amphibious type boats are carried 
on ships lifting the 1st Marine Division, the plans for off-load tag the 7 th 
Division will have to be revised. 5 

But the plans for off-loading the 7th Division could not be revised. 
K the Army unit was to land within a reasonable length of time, it 
would have to go in on the heels of the 1st Marine Division, using the 
same landing craft. If the ship-to-shore movement took place at Hung- 
nam, the 7th Division would be ill-disposed for beginning its overland 
drive to Pyongyang as planned; for it would have to backtrack by land 
almost all the way to Wonsan. On the other hand, if the Army division 
landed at Wonsan white the Marines assaulted Hungnam, the Navy 
would be handicapped not only by the lack of landing craft but also 
by the problem of sweeping mines from both harbors simultaneously. 

From the standpoint of Admiral Joy in Japan and Admiral Doyle in 
Korea, there was insufficient time for planning a new tactical deploy- 
ment of X Corps at this late date. And the time-space handicap would 
be compounded by serious shortages of mine sweepers and intelligence 
^formation. Joy was unsuccessful on 8 October in his first attempt 
dissuade MacArthur from the new idea. On the 9th, unofficial word 
of the pending change reached General Smith at Inchon, just as his 
staff wound up work on the draft for the Wonsan assault. ComNavFE 
persisted in his arguments with the commander in chief, however, with 
me final result that on 10 October the original plan for landing the 
whole X Corps at Wonsan was ordered into effect. Coming events 
Wer e to uphold the Navy viewpoint; for while the Wonsan landing 



itself w as delayed several days by enemy mines, it was 15 November 
efore the first ships safely entered the harbor at 

| r n 1 1 ^tober, the day after he opened his CP on the Mount McKinley, 
^^Smith learned that the Hungnam plan had been dropped. The 

5 . *r$§& OpnPlm 9-50 (Alternate), 8 Oct 50 

tion/ Notes in x Corps WD 10-25 Oct 50; CnrnPhibGruOne, "Report of . . . Opera- 
et al n ' , 25 J un 50 t0 1 J» n 51," 11 ; Smith, Chronicle, 57-59; and Capt Walter Karig, 
W;,7('; Report; The War In Korea (New York, 1952), 301-302. According to Gen 
maridW- ^ r , thur " s "Admiral Joy may have -discussed' this often with the Com- 
«g£3S£8£ ^t no one ever -argued' with him." Wright ltr 16 Feb 56. 
<-°<nNavFE msg to CinCFE, 0010 12 Nov 50. 


The Chosin Reservoir Campaign 

1st Marine Division continued loading out in accordance with X Corps 
OpnO 4, even though its objective had already been captured. 8 

During the period 4-10 October, Admiral Doyle had assembled at 
Inchon an assortment of Navy amphibious vessels, ships of the Mili- 
tary Sea Transport Service (msts), and Japanese-manned LSTs (sca- 
jap) With the arrival of Transport Squadron One on 8 October, the 
total shipping assigned to the landing force consisted of one AGC, eight 
APAs, two APs, 10 AKAs, five LSDs, 36 LSTs, three LSUs, one LSM, 
and six commercial cargo vessels ("Victory" and C-2 types) . 1U 

Loading a reinforced division, several thousand Corps troops and 
thousands of tons of supplies and equipment proved to be an aggravat- 
ing job under the circumstances. Pressure on the attack and landing 
forces for an early D-D ay only magnified the shortcomings of Inchon 
as a port. Limited facilities and unusual tide conditions held dock 
activity to a series of feverish bursts. Moreover, many ships not part 
of the amphibious force had to be accommodated since they were 
delivering vital materiel. The assigned shipping itself was inadequate, 
according to the Division G-4 and "considerable quantities" of vehicles 
had to be left behind. Much of the trucking that could be taken was 
temporarily diverted to help transport the 7th Infantry Division to 
Pusan; and although unavailable for port operations when needed, it 
returned at the last minute to disrupt out-loading of the Shore Party's 
heavy beach equipment. 11 Out of conditions and developments such 
as these grew the necessity for postponing D-Day from 15 October, 
the date initially set by General Almond, to the 20th. 

For purposes of expediting embarkation and economizing on ship- 
ping space, X Corps directed the 1st Marine Division to out-load with 
less than the usual amount of supplies carried by a landing force. 13 
Resupply shipping would be so scheduled as to deliver adequate stocks 
of Class I, II, III, and IV consumables ". . . prior to the time they 

'Smith, Chronicle, 59. 

' ComPhibGruOne '■Operations Report," 10. SCAJAP is the abbreviation for Shipping 
Control Authority, Japan. Under this designation were American ships lent to japan 
after World War II, of which many were recalled during the Korean War to serve as 
cargo vessels. 

^IstMarDiv SAR, annex D (hereafter G-4 SAR), 2. 

"These totals were authorized: C-Rations for five days; individual assault rations (os 
one day; POL for five days; Class II and IV supplies for 15 days; and five units of fire 
(U/F). Ibid.; IstMarDiv Adminiiirat'tve Order (AdmO) 1J-50, 8 Oct 50. A unit of 
fire is a convenient yardstick in describing large quantities of ammunition, It Is based on 
a specific number of rounds per weapon. 

The Woman Landing 25 

would be needed," even though when "they would be needed" was 
anybody's guess at this stage of the war. 13 

In anticipation of a rapid advance to the west (which did not ma- 
terialize) , Division G-4 not only assigned 16 pre-loaded trucks and 
trailers to each RCT, but also earmarked three truck companies and 
16 more trailers as a mobile logistical reserve. These supply trains 
would stay on the heels of the attacking regiments in order to maintain 
ammunition dumps as far forward as possible in a fast-moving 

On 8 October, ComNavFE directed Admiral Doyle and General 
Smith to effect his OpnPlan 113-50. 15 Coincidentally, the first con- 
tingents of the 5th Marines boarded the Bayfield ( 1/5) , George Clytner 
(2/ 5 ) i and Bexar (3/5). Three days later, on the 11th, Lieutenant 
Colonel Raymond L. Murray, commander of the reserve regiment, 
opened his CP in the Bayfield, and his unit completed embarkation. 10 

Although reserve and administrative elements of the 1st and 7th 
Marines loaded earlier, the four assault battalions of these regiments 
could not begin embarkation until 1 3 October, owing to the fact that 
the LSTs had been used for shuttle service around Inchon Harbor. 
General Smith opened his CP in the Mount McKinley at 1200 on the 
llth," The last of the landing ships were loaded by high tide on the 
morning of the 15th, and later that day all of them sailed for the 
objective. By evening of the 16th, most of the transports were on the 
w ay, but the Mount McKinley and Bayfield did not depart until the 
"ext day. 18 

Broken down into seven embarkation groups, the landing force and 
Corps troops leaving Inchon comprised a grand total of 1902 officers 
af id 28,287 men. Of this number, 1461 officers and 23,938 men were 
°n the rolls of the 1st Marine Division, the breakdown being as follows: 

Marine officers 1119 

Marine enlisted 20,597 

officers * » , . + * » * < * » * * * » * , * * * „ * * * i „ * * . * . 155 

avy enlisted » ♦ ♦ * , 1 002 

wfcj SAR > U 

tt ^WiNavFE msg to ComPhibGruOne, CG IstMarDiv and others, 0200 8 Oct 50. 
a .^Marmsg to CG IstMarDiv, 1035 11 Oct 50; IstMarDiv SAR, annex QQ, appendix 
Cy hefeafter 1/5 SAR), 4, appendix B (hereafter 2/5 SAR), 6, and appendix C {hereafter 

„ w IstMarDiv msg to All Units, 0752 11 Oct 50; Smith, Notes, 373. 
hrii l stMa <Div SAR, annex RR (hereafter 7thMar SAR), 9; Smith, Notes, 399, 409; 
tMar WD Oa so, 3. 


The Chosm 

U, S. Array & KMC officers attached 189 

U. S. Army & KMC enlisted attached 23 39 18 

Even in the last stages of loading and during the actual departure, 
new orders had continued to flow out of higher headquarters. It will 
be recalled that General Smith issued his OpnO 16-50 for the Wonsan 
assault on 10 October. An alternate plan, to be executed on signal, 
went out to subordinate units the same day, providing for an admin- 
istrative landing by the Division on RED Beach, north of Wonsan, 
instead of Kalma Peninsula. 30 

As a result of discussions during a X Corps staff conference on 
1 3 October, a party headed by General Almond flew to Wonsan the 
next day. 21 The purpose of his visit was to reconnoiter the objective 
and to explain his latest operational directive to the I E.OK Corps com- 
mander, who would come under his control. 22 This new order, pub- 
lished on the 14th, called for an administrative landing by X Corps 
and a rapid advance westward along the Wonsan — Pyongyang axis to 
a juncture with eusak. Assigned to the 1st Marine Division was an 
objective northeast of Pyongyang, the Red capital. 23 

It was this tactical scheme, then, that prevailed as the Marines de- 
parted Inchon from 15 to 17 October and the 7th Infantry Division 
prepared to embark from Pusan. General Smith, of course, placed 
into effect his alternate order for a landing on red Beach. 2 * While there 
may be a note of humor in the fact that on 1 5 October ComPhibGruOne 
issued his OpnO 16-50 for the "assault landing" at Wonsan, it must 
be remembered that the ship-to-shore movement would remain essen- 
tially the same from the Navy's standpoint, regardless of the swift 
march of events ashore. 

* IstMarDiv Embarkation Summary, 16 Oct 30; and "Special Report IstMarDiv," 12. 
" IstMarDiv OpnO 17-50, 10 Oct 50. 

21 ". , . Division [IstMarDiv] Advance Parties were flown to Wonsan in accordance 
with a definite plan which materialized just before we set sail from Inchon, As a matter of 
fact the personnel for these parties and even some of the jeeps were already loaded out 
and had to be removed from the shipping prior to our sailing." Col A. L. Bowser, Com- 
ments, n. d. 

"CG's Diary Extracts in X Corps WD, 10-25 Oct 50; Smith, Chronicle, 59. 

a X Corps Operation Instruction (01) 11, 14 Oct 50; Smith, Notes, 385. 

"According to General Smith, "The reason for issuing IstMarDiv OpnO 17-50 was 
to provide for an administrative landing in sheltered waters just north of Wonsan where 
there would be easy access to the existing road net. The ship-to-shore movement pro- 
vided for in IstMarDiv OpnO 16-50 was retained intact. This plan [OpnO 17-50] had 
to be dropped when it was found that Wonsan Harbor was completely blocked by mines, 
and that it would be much quicker to clear the approaches to the Kalma Peninsula where 
we eventually landed . - . IstMarDiv dispatch [1450 24 Oct] cancelled both IstMarDiv 
OpnOs 16 and 17 and provided for an administrative landing on the Kalma Peninsula 
as directed by CTf 90," Gen O. P. Smith Itr to authors, 3 Feb 56. Hereafter, unless 
otherwise stated, letters may be assumed to be to the authors. 


Two Weeks of Mine Sweeping 

Mine sweeping for the Wonsan landing commenced on S October, 
when Task Group 95,6, commanded by Captain SpoiTord, began as- 
sembling for the mission of clearing a path ahead of the 250-ship 
armada bringing the 1st Marine Division and other units of X Corps. 
It had been known for a month that the waters of the east coast were 
dangerous for navigation. The first mine was discovered off Chinnampo 
on the west coast on 7 September, and four days later Admiral joy 
ordered the United Nations Blocking and Escort Force to stay on the 
safe side of the 100-fathom line along the east coast. But it was not 
until 26 and 28 September that more definite information was acquired 
the hard way when the U. S. destroyer Brush and the ROK mine sweeper 
YMS 905 were damaged by east coast mines. 25 

On the 28th ComNavFE issued his OpnO 17-50 covering operations 
of mine sweepers in Korean waters. The herculean task awaiting the 
12 available American vessels of this type may be judged by the fact 
that more than a hundred had been employed off Okinawa in World 
War U, 

Although the exact date remained unknown, it was a safe assumption 
that North Korean mining activities, beginning in late July or early 
August, were speeded by the Inchon landing, which aroused the enemy 
to the peril of further amphibious operations. Russian instructors had 
trained Korean Reds at Wonsan and Chinnampo in the employment of 
^oviet-manufactured mines. Sampans, junks, and wooden coastal 
harges were used to sow a field of about 2000 in the harbor and 
approaches to Wonsan. 20 

Captain Spofford's TG 95.6 commenced its sweep off Wonsan on 
*0 October after a sortie from Sasebo. Unfortunately, the three large 
neet sweepers, Pledge, Pirate, and Incredible, were not well adapted to 
lie shallow sweeping necessary at Wonsan. More dependence could 
°e placed in the seven small wooden-hulled U. S. motor mine sweepers 
Redhead, Mocking Bird, Osprey, Chatterer, Merganser, Kite, and Par- 
age, which were rugged even though low-powered. Spofford's two 
bl g high-speed sweepers, Doyle and Endkott, had their limitations for 

"?i" CPacFlt Interim Evaluation Report No. 1, VI, 1090. 
B nt , ™" VI > 1088-1089; Smith, Notes, 4o4; Karig, Korea, 301. See also ADVATIS 
P [ 1225 u, EUSAK WD. 24 Oct 50. 


The Chosin Reservoir Campaign 

this type of operation; and the nine Japanese and three ROK sweepers 
lacked some of the essential gear. 27 

The U. S. destroyers Collett, Swenson, Maddox, and Thomas were 
in the Wonsan area as well as the cruiser Rochester. On the 9th the 
Rochester's helicopter sighted 61 mines in a reconnaissance, and the next 
day the observer found them too numerous to count. In spite of these 
grim indications, rapid progress the first day led to predictions of a 
brief operation. By late afternoon a 3000-yard channel had been 
cleared from the 100-fathom curve to the 30-fathom line. But hopes 
were dashed at this point by the discovery of five additional lines of 
mines. 88 

On 12 and 13 October the naval guns of TG 95.2 bombarded Tan- 
chon and Songjin on the northeast coast. While the USS Missouri 
treated the marshaling yards of Tanchon to 163 16" rounds, the cruisers 
Helena, Worcester, and Ceylon fired at bridges, shore batteries, and 
tunnels in the Chongjin area. 20 

Spofford tried to save time on the morning of the 12th by counter- 
mining as 39 planes from the carriers Leyte Gulf and Philip pine Sea 
dropped 50 tons of bombs. It was found, however, that even the ex- 
plosion of a 1000-pound bomb would not set off nearby mines by con- 
cussion. 30 According to Admiral Struble, "The results of this operation 
simply bore out our experience in World War II, but were tried out 
on the long chance that they might be effective in the current situation." 31 

The 12 th was a black day for the sweeping squadron. For the steel 
sweepers Pledge and Pirate both were blown up by mines that after- 
noon and sank with a total of 13 killed and 87 wounded. Rescue of 
the survivors was handicapped by fire from enemy shore batteries. 32 

While the blast of a half-ton bomb had not been powerful enough, 

"CinCPaeFIt Interim Evaluation Report No. I, VI, 1004; Dept Army, Joint Daily 
Situation Report (D/A Daily SitRpt) 105; Karig, Korea, 311-314. 

"Minesweep Rpt # 1 in X Corps WD 10-25 Oct 50; ComNavFE Intelligence Sum- 
mary (IntSum) 76; ComNavFE Operations Summary (OpSum) 201; D/A Daily SitRpt 
105; Karig, Korea, 315. 

* ComUNBlocStandCortFor, "Evaluation Information," in CinCPaeFIt, Interim Evalua* 
lien Report No. 1, 13—15; Com Seventh Fit, "Chronological Narrative," in Ibid., 7. 

"CTG 95.6 rosg to CTF95, CTF77 11 Oct 50 in G-3 Journal, X Corps WD 10-25 
Oct 50; ComNavFE OpSum 215; ComNavFE IntSum 82; Karig, Korea, 315. 
" VAdm A. D. Struble Comments, 14 Mar 56. 

* ComPatRon 47, "Special Historical Report," in CinCPaeFIt Interim Evaluation Report 
No. 1, H4; ComUNBlockandCortFor, "Evaluation Information," 5, 15; Karig, Korea, 

which mines would detonate mines. But a precision drop by naval 
planes met with no success, and there was nothing left but a return to 
the slow, weary, and dangerous work of methodical sweeping. 33 

The flying boats, Mariners and Sunde f lands, were called upon to 
assist by conducting systematic aerial searches for moored and drifting 
mines, which they destroyed by .50 caliber machine-gun fire. Soon an 
effective new technique was developed as the seaplanes carried overlays 
of Hydrographic Office charts to be marked with the locations of all 
mines sighted. These charts were dropped to the sweepers and were 
of considerable assistance in pinpointing literally hundreds of mines. 34 

On the 18 th one of the Japanese sweepers, the JMS-14, hit a mine 
and went down. In spite of this loss, the end seemed in sight. No 
attempt was being made to clear all the mines ;'but with a lane swept 
into the harbor, it remained only to check the immediate area of the 
landing beaches. So hopeful did the outlook appear that it was more 
disillusioning when the ROK YMS 316 disintegrated on 19 October 
after a terrific explosion in the supposedly cleared lane. Thus was TG 
95.6 rudely introduced to the fact that the sweepers had to deal with 
magnetic mines in addition to the other types. The mechanism could 
be set to allow as many as 12 ships to pass over the mine before it 
exploded. This meant, of course, that the sweepers must make at least 
13 passes over any given area before it could be considered safe. 35 

The Mount McKinley having arrived off Wonsan that same day, 
Admiral Doyle and General Almond, with six members of the X Corps 
staff, went by boat to the battleship Missouri for a conference with 
Admiral Struble. CjTP-7 asserted that he would not authotize the 
administrative landing until the magnetic mines were cleared from 
the shipping lane — -a task which he estimated would take three more 
days. This announcement led to General Almond's decision to fly 
ashore in the Missouri's helicopter on the 20th and establish his CP 
*n Wonsan. 30 So rapidly had the situation changed, it was hard to 
remember that this date had once been set as D-Day when the Marine 
landing force would fight for a beachhead. 

"ComNavFE OpSum 219; ComNavFE IntSum 82. 
ComFltAUWing 6, "Evaluation information," in CinCPaeFlt Interim Evaluation Re- 
port No. i, D8. 

( Smith, Notes, 404-407; Karig, Korea, 324-526. 

„, CG's Diary Extracts in X Corps WD, 10-25 Oct 50; Smith, Notes, 404^105; Com- 
^mbGruOne "Operations Report," 11-12; LtCol H. W. Edwards, "A Naval Lesson of 
we Korean Conflict," U. S. Naval Institute Proceedings, lxxx, no. 12 (Dec 54), 1337-1340; 
K »«g, Korea, 324-326; IstMarDiv G-l Journal 20 Oct 50. 


The Chos'm Reservoir Campaign 

Operation Yo-Yo 

Shortly after 1700 on the afternoon of 19 October, a rumor swept 
through the 250 ships of the Tractor and Transport Groups. "War's 
over!" shouted the excited Marines. "They're talcing us back to Pusan 
for embarkation to the States." 

Rumor seemed to have the support of fact on this occasion, for 
compass readings left no doubt that the armada had indeed executed a 
maritime "about face" to head southward. What the men on the trans- 
ports did not know was that the reversal of direction had been ordered 
for purely military reasons as a result of the conference that day on 
the Missouri. 

It was puzzling enough to the troops the following morning when 
the ships resumed their original course. But this was nothing as com- 
pared to their bewilderment late that afternoon as the Tractor and 
Transport Groups turned southward again. 

Every twelve hours, in accordance with the directive of Cjtf-7, the 
fleet was to reverse course, steaming back and fordi off the eastern 
coast of Korea until the last of the magnetic mines could be cleared 
from the lane in preparation for an administrative landing at Wonsan, 37 

Marines have always been ready with a derisive phrase, and "Opera- 
tion Yo-Yo" was coined to express their disgust with this interlude of 
concentrated monotony. Never did time die a harder death, and never 
did tlie grumblers have so much to grouse about. Letters to wives and 
sweethearts took on more bulk daily, and paper-backed murder mys- 
teries were worn to tatters by bored readers. 

On the 22d, at CJTF-7's regular daily meeting, Admirals Struble and 
Doyle conferred in the destroyer Rowan with Admiral Smith and Cap- 
tain Spofford. It was agreed that the sweeping could not be completed 
until the 24th or 25th, which meant that Operation Yo-Yo might last 
a week. 38 

The situation had its serious aspects on LSTs and transports which 
were not prepared for a voyage around Korea taking nearly as long 
as a crossing of the Pacific. Food supplies ran low as gasrro-enteritisand 
dysentery swept through the crowded transports in spite of strict medical 
precautions. The msts transport Marine Phoenix alone had a sick list 

; Struble Comments, 
'■Operations Report," 12; Struble Comments, 16 Mar 56. 

The Woman . 


of 750 during the epidemic. A case of smallpox was discovered on the 
Ray field, and all crewmen as well as passengers were vaccinated that 
same day. SB 

On the 23d, as the Mount McKbiley proceeded into the inner harbor 
at Wonsan, there could be no doubt: that the final mine sweeping would 
be completed by the 25 th. Operation Yo-Yo came to an end, therefore, 
when Admiral Doyle directed the amphibious fleet to arrive on the 
25th, prepared for an administrative landing. The order of entry called 
for the Transport Group to take the lead, followed by the vessels of 
the Tractor Group.* 

On the morning of the 25th, Admirals Struble and Doyle held a 
final conference with General Almond and Captain SpofTord. By this 
time they had decided to land the Marines over yeixow and blue 
Beaches on Kalrna Peninsula, as originally conceived in IstMarDiv 
OpnO 16-50. The inner harbor of Wonsan would remain closed until 
completely clear of mines, and then it would be developed as a supply 

Marine Air First at Objective 

The sense of fnistration which oppressed the Marine ground forces 
during Operation Yo-Yo would have been increased if they had realized 
that the air maintenance crews had beaten them to Wonsan by a margin 
°f twelve days. Even more humiliating to the landing force troops, 
Bob Hope and Marilyn Maxwell were flown to the objective area. On 
the evening of the 2^1 th they put on a USO show spiced with quips at 
the expense of the disgruntled Leathernecks in the transports. 

Planning for Marine air operations in northeast Korea had been 
modified from day to day to keep pace with the rapidly changing stra- 
tegic situation. On 11 October, when ROK forces secured Wonsan, 
Preparations for air support of an assault landing were abandoned. 
Two days later Major General Field Harris, CG 1st Marine Aircraft 
Wing and Tactical Air Command X Corps (TAC X Corps), flew to 

Hi IstMarDiv SAR, annex VV, (hereafter 7thMTBn SAR), 2; ComFhibGru- 
Une msg to BuMed, 0034 27 Oct 50, 

CTF 90 msg to CTG 90.2, 1119 24 Oct 50 in G-3 Journal, X Corps WD 10-25 
MCt 50. 

ComPhibGruOne, "Operations Report, " 12-13; Smith, Notes, 407; CG IstMarDiv 
m sg to subordinate units, 1450 24 Oct 50; Smith itr, 3 Feb 5(5. 


The Chosin Reservoir Campaign 

Wonsan. After inspecting the airfield he decided to begin operations 
without delay. 42 

These developments, of course, were accompanied by amendments 
to the original plan which had assigned Marine Fighter Squadrons 
(VMFs)-2l4 and -323 the air support role in the naval task force, 
with Marine Aircraft Group (MAG) -12 to be landed as soon as the 
field at Wonsan was secured. 

In response to changing conditions, VMF-312 aircraft flew from 
Kimpo to Wonsan on the 14th, and R5Ds lifted 210 personnel of the 
advance echelons of Headquarters Squadron (Hedron)-12, Service 
Squadron (SMS) -12, and Marine All- Weather Fighter Squadron 
(VMF(N))-513. Two LSTs sailed from Kobe with equipment of 
MAG-12, and Combat Cargo Command aircraft of Far East Air Force 
began flying in aviation gasoline. Bombs and rockets were flown to 
Wonsan by the planes of VMF(N)-513.* 3 

On the 16th, VMFs-214 and -323 departed Sasebo for station off 
Wonsan in the CVE's Sicily and Badoeng Strait. From the following 
day until the 27th these two fighter squadrons were to provide air 
cover for the mine sweeping operations off Wonsan and the ensuing 
1st Marine Division administrative landing.** 

TAC X Corps OpnO 2-50, issued on 15 October, had contemplated 
the opening of the port at Wonsan and arrival of the surface echelon 
within three days. Until then the two squadrons at Wonsan airfield 
were to be dependent on airlift for all supplies. 

The unforeseen ten-day delay in clearing a lane through the mine 
field made it difficult to maintain flight operations. Fuel was pumped 
by hand from 55-gaIIon drums which had been rolled along the ground 
about a mile from the dump to the flight line. Muscle also had to 
substitute for machinery in ordnance sections which had only one jeep 
and eight bomb trailers for moving ammunition * s 

Despite such difficulties, air operations from the new field were 
speeded up when General Almond landed to establish the X Corps CP 

"Unless otherwise stated this section is based on: IstMAW HD, Oct SO; IstMAW 
SAR, annex K (hereafter MAG-12 SAR), J, appendix G (hereafter VMF-312 SAR), 
3, 5-6; and Smith, Notes, 433-441. 

* E. H. Giusti and K. W. Condit, "Marine Air at the Chosin Reservoir," Marine Corps 
Gazette, xxxvii, no. 7 (Ju! 52), 19-20; IstMAW SAR, annex K, appendix H (hereafter 
VMF(N)-513 SAR}, sec 6, 2. 

* IstMAW SAR, annex J, appendix Q (hereafter VMF-214 SAR), 2. 

"Giusti and Condit, "Marine Air at the Chnsin Reservoir," 20; IstMAW HD, Oct 50; 
TAC X Corps OpnO 2-50, 15 Oct 50, in Ibid. 

The Woman Landing 


at Wonsan on the 20th, after taking control of I ROK Corps. Armed 
reconnaissance sorties were flown regularly and attacks made on re- 
treating bodies of nkpa troops, On the 24th a VMF-312 flight sur- 
prised a column of about 800 Korean Reds near Kojo, 39 miles south- 
east of Wonsan, and scattered it with heavy losses. 

There were administrative as well as operational problems to be 
solved. If an assault landing had been carried out at Wonsan, the 
provision for air support would have been planned in a manner similar 
to that of Inchon. But the change to an administrative landing caused 
the 1st MAW to be placed under the control of the Far East Air Forces. 
This was in accordance with a cinCFE directive to the effect that when 
both feae and Naval air were assigned missions in Korea, coordination 
control would be exercised by CG feaf. He had in turn delegated that 
control north of the 38th parallel, including close-support operations 
of carrier-borne planes, to CG Fifth Air Force. 

AF procedures, which required the schedule for any given day's strikes 
to be submitted to that headquarters by 1800 the previous day. Ob- 
viously, the distance separating X Corps in Wonsan from Fifth Air 
Force Headquarters in Seoul made it virtually impossible to get clear- 
ance in time. This issue was speedily settled by a conference in which 
Major General Earle E. Partridge, USAF, CG Fifth Air Force, gave 
General Harris oral permission to plan and execute supporting missions 
for X Corps in northeast Korea while awaiting clearance from the 
Fifth AF. 

His decision was made on the basis of a liberal interpretation of the 
authority of CG 1st MAW to take action "in emergencies." In prac- 
tice, the arrangement worked out smoothly during this preliminary 
period, and on 12 November CG Fifth Air Force confirmed his oral 
agreement with a written directive. 

Direction of air operations in support of X Corps was exercised by 
MAG-12 for the 1st MAW from 15 October to 9 November. Night 
operations did not begin until late in October for lack of runway lights 
at Wonsan, so that VMF(N)-5I3 flew daytime missions along with 
VMF-312. The two carrier- based squadrons conducted flights in a 
similar manner. Aircraft reported at designated times to specified 
Tactical Air Control Parties (tacps) for operations directed by a daily 
fifth AF order, some of them in response to previously submitted re- 
quests of ground units for air support. 

Major Vincent J. Gottschalk's Marine Observation Squadron 
(VMO)-6 was under the operational control of the 1st Marine Divi- 
sion, though it was under the administrative direction of MAG-12. 
Two helicopter pilots, Captain Wallace D. Blatt and First Lieutenant 
Chester C. Ward, flew from Kimpo to Wonsan on 23 October. The 
rest of the squadron had proceeded by LST. A flight echelon of heli- 
copters, commanded by Captain Victor A. Armstrong, VMO-6 execu- 
tive officer, remained temporarily at Kimpo at the request of the 
Fifth Air Force to evacuate casualties of the 187th Airborne RCT in 
the Sukchon area. 40 

From all that has gone before, it might be expected that UN strategy 
and tactics, after frequent modification, had finally been decided upon 
by mid-October 1950. This was not the case, and a brief recapitula- 
tion of events in western and central Korea is now necessary in order- 
to set the scene for the sweeping changes that followed. 

General Walker's Eighth Army, as mentioned earlier, had deployed 
along the 38th Parallel after relieving X Corps above Seoul on 7 Octo- 
ber. Two days later, armored elements of the 1st Cavalry Division 
crossed the boundary to spearhead the U. S. I Corps drive on Sariwon 
and Pyongyang. The former city was secured on 17 October with die 
help of the 27th Commonwealth Brigade, while the 24th Infantry 
Division moved up the west coast on the left of the Kaesong-Sariwon- 
Pyongyang axis.* 7 The 1st Cavalry Division continued the attack to- 
ward Pyongyang on the 18th, entering the Red capital with the 1st 
ROK Division the next day. Pyongyang was secured on 21 October, 
and elements of the 1st Cavalry Division also occupied the undefended 
port city of Chinnampo, 35 miles to the southwest. 48 

A vertical envelopment on 20 October had come as a dramatic sup- 
plement to the attack on Pyongyang. The 187th Airborne RCT para- 
chuted successfully into the Sukchon-Sunchon area, about 30 miles north 
of the city, thereby cutting the two principal nkpa escape routes to 
Manchuria. After watching the drop from his plane, General Mac- 
Arthur stopped off at Pyongyang and declared that the surprise stroke 

"IstMarDiv MR, annex WW {hereafter VMO-6 SAR), 2. 
"EUSAK WD Sum, Oct 50, 13-23. 
"Ibid., 25-30. 

Mac Arthur Orders Advance to Border 

The Woman Landing 35 

had closed the trap on the enemy. At his Tokyo headquarters the next 
day, he predicted that the war would end shortly. 48 

In mountainous central Korea on the right flank of I US Corps, the 
6th ROK Division had been leading the rapid advance of South Korean 
forces under eusak. With Hwachon captured on 8 October, the divi- 
sion went on to take the vital hubs of Chorwon on the 10th and Kun> 
wha on the 11th. It made contact with ROK Capitol Division elements 
from Wonsan the following day. During the next 24 hours, the 6th 
Division advanced 20 miles, and the 7th and 8th ROK Divisions fanned 
out to exploit the deepening penetration. On 14 October the 6th closed 
on Yangdok, about midway between Wonsan and Pyongyang, 60 

Thereafter the ROK forces in the center of the peninsula began veer- 
ing northwest, so that by 22 October, the day after Pyongyang fell to 
I Corps, the vanguard 6th Division was bearing down on Kunu-ri, C1 ' 
about 45 air miles to the north of the capital. 

From the foregoing, it is obvious that a trans-peninsular drive by 
X Corps was no longer necessary after mid-October. In fact, both in 
Washington and in Tokyo the attitude prevailed that the Korean war 
was nearing an end. President Truman had deemed a meeting of minds 
appropriate at this time, and he flew to Wake Island for a conference 
w ith General MacArthur on 15 October. 52 

Various aspects of American policy in the Far East were discussed 
at the meeting, but the Korean situation ranked high on the agenda. 
When asked by President Truman about the chances of Russian or 
Chinese interference in the war, General MacArthur replied, "Very 
little." His conclusion agreed with that held by many in high govern- 
ment circles, although officials in both Washington and Tokyo realized 
that the 

Schnabel, The Korean Conflict. 
„ EUSAK WD Sum, Oct 50, 11-20. 


„ The following summary of the Wake Island meeting is primarily based on: Gen O. N, 
Bradley, Comp., Substance of Statements Made at Wake Island Conference on October 15, 
1950 (Washington, 1951) ; and Truman, Memoirs, II, 364-367. These accounts are 
«rorjg|y objected to in MacArthur ltr, 24 Feb 56. For a differing account of the meeting 
•«? C. A. Willoughby and J. Chamberlain, MacArthur 1941-1951 (New York, 1954), 
3H2-363; Whitney, MacArthur, 38-4-395, 416; and Gcu D. MacArthur, "Gen. MacArthur 
ggfci His Reply," Life, xl, no. 7 (13 Feb 56), 107-108. Participants in the conference 
>i.Vi- Truman and MacArthur were: Secretary of the Army Frank Pace; Ambassador 
" 'P Jcssup; Ambassador to Korea John Muedo; General Bradley; Assistant Secretary 

g .State Dean Rusk; Admiral Arthur W. Radford, CinCPacFlt; Averell Harriman; and 
D »«Gen Courtney Whitney of FECOM Headquarters. 


The Chosin Reservoir Campaign 

MacArthur stated that about 300,000 Chinese troops were stationed 
in Manchuria, of whom from 100,000 to 125,000 had been deployed 
along the Yalu River boundary with Korea. He estimated that only 
50,000 to 60,000 of these troops could get across the river. If they at- 
tempted to move on Pyongyang, he said, they would be "slaughtered," 
owing to the proximity of UN air bases. 

The commander in chief added that Russia had no troops immedi- 
ately available for a thrust into the peninsula. It would take six weeks 
for a Soviet division to assemble at the border, and by that time winter 
would have set in. And while Russia had a fairly good air force in 
Siberia and Manchuria, tactical support of Chinese ground troops would 
be difficult to control. "I believe Russian air would bomb the Chinese 
as often as they would bomb us," MacArthur remarked. 63 

Part of the conference dealt with the rehabilitation of Korea and 
the eventual departure of UN troops after the fighting had ceased. 
MacArthur expressed his belief diat organized resistance would end 
by Thanksgiving (23 November). He hoped to withdraw eusak to 
Japan by Christmas, leaving X Corps, reconstituted with the 2d and 
3d U. S. Infantry Divisions and other UN detachments, as a security 
force until peace and order were fully restored. All present seemed to 
agree that elections should be held early to achieve stability in the 
re-united country, and that the ROK Army must be made tough enough 
to deter the Chinese Communists from any aggressive moves. 

The conference ended on a note of general optimism. President 
Truman pinned a Distinguished Service Medal on the commander in 

after the meeting. 

Once back in Tokyo, MacArthur issued on 17 October a new order 
that would become effective if Pyongyang fell before X Corps landed 
at Wonsan (as was the case four days later). This draft established 
parallel zones of action for eusak and X Corps in North Korea, with 
the Taebaek Range as the dividing line. The restraining line for UN 
Forces was advanced as much as 60 miles to a lateral drawn through 
Chongsanjangsi-Koingdong-Pyongwon-Toksil-li-Pungsan-Songjin (see 
Map 1). ROK Forces, of course, would still drive all the way to the 
borders of Manchuria and the USSR. 5 * 

"By way of comparison, MacArthur paid tribute to the Marine Corps' highly technical 
system of tactical air employment: "Ground support is a very difficult thing to do. Our 
marines do it perfectly. They have been trained for it. Our own Air and Ground Forces 
are riot as good as the marines hut they are effective," 

"CG's Diary Extracts in X Corps WD, 10-25 Oct 50; Schnabel, Korean Conflict. 

The Woman Landing 

On 24 October, just as the 1st Marine Division was preparing to 
land at Wonsan, General MacArthur did away with the restraining 
line altogether. The original restriction on the advance of UN ele- 
ments, he told his subordinate commanders, was based on the possi- 
bility of enemy capitulation, Since there appeared to be no prospect of 
a formal surrender, he now authorized Generals Walker and Almond 
to use whatever of their ground forces were necessary to secure all of 
North Korea. And he enjoined them . . to drive forward with all 
speed and with full utilization of all their force." 68 

The commander in chief received a message from JCS the next day, 
telling him that they considered his new order "not in consonance" 
with their 27 September authorization, which had stipulated a policy 
of using only ROK ground forces in the provinces bordering Russia 
and Manchuria. The matter had caused some concern in Washington, 
the Joint Chiefs said, and they wanted to know MacArthur's reasons 
for making the decision. 56 

In reply they were informed that the commander in chief's decision 
"as a "matter of military necessity," since the ROK Army lacked both 
the strength and the seasoned commanders required for securing North 
Korea. MacArthur added that the 27 September authorization had 
"■ . . merely enunciated the [restraining line] provision as a matter of 
policy," and had admitted the possibility of JCS instructions being 
Modified in accordance with developments. He stated further that he 
possessed the authority to so modify from Secretary of Defense Mar- 
shall himself, who had told him " . . to feel unhampered tactically 
a nd strategically . . ." Assuring the Joint Chiefs that he understood 
the reasons for their apprehension, he warned that "... tactical hazards 
•night even result from other action than that which I have directed."" 

And there the matter rested. 

Landing of nt Marine Division 

*! Was at a X Corps staff meeting on 18 October that General Almond 
^closed MacArthur's plan for parallel zones of action and the new 
^■hongsanjansi-Songjin restraining line in North Korea. Upon establishi- 
ng his CP at Wonsan two days later, he accordingly assumed command 

"CinCUNC msg CX 67291, 24 Oct 50; X Corps WD Sum, Nov JO, 5. 
; ,JCS mS g 94933, 24 Oct 50; Truman, Memoirs, II, 372. 

i ms fi 67397, 25 Oct 50; Truman, Memoirs, II, 372. 


The Cbosin Reservoir Campaign 

of all UN and ROK forces north of the 39° 10' parallel and east of the 
Taebaek Range. 68 

By this time the ROK Capitol Division was occupying Hamming, 
Hungnam, and nearby Yonpo Airfield, all of which had been captured 
on 17 October during the swift drive northward. 5 " The ROK 3d Divi- 
sion had one regiment at Wonsan, another at Kojo, and the third en 
route to Hamhung. 00 

On the 21st, General Almond requested CJTF-7 to land one battalion 
of Marines at Kojo immediately, for the purpose of relieving the ROK 
regiment defending that locale. He contended that Navy LSTs could 
beach there safely, since scajap ships had already done so. Learning of 
the proposed landing, Admiral Doyle argued against it and Admiral 
Struble forbade it on the ground that the military requirement did not 
justify the risk incident to negotiating unswept waters. Thus the land- 
ing was called off, although the Marines had not heard the last of 
Kojo. 61 

On 22 October, General Smith issued a new plan based on the pro- 
posed X Corps deployment as far north as the Chongsanjangsi-Songjin 
line. The 1st Marine Division would now occupy the southern part of 
the extended corps zone, with each regiment responsible for the security 
of its assigned sector.' 1 " But again planning went for naught when, two 
days later, General Almond received MacArthur's order to disregard 
the restraining line and use whatever forces necessary to drive rapidly 
to the Manchurian and Soviet borders. On 25 October, therefore, X 
Corps directed the 1st Marine Division to concentrate one RCT in the 
Hamhung area and to relieve elements of the I ROK Corps at the 
Chosin and Fusen Reservoirs. South Korean troops had already begun 
their advance on these vital power centers, some 50 to 60 air miles 
north of Hamhung. 03 

- CGs Diary Extracts in X Corps WD, 10-25 Oct 50, 
"EUSAK WD. 23 Oct 50. 
"X Corps WD, 10-25 Oct 50. 

u "'Summary of Activities, 21 Oct," in Ibid.; CnmPhibGruOne "Operations Report," 13 ; 
Smith, Notes, 404-407; Struble Comments, 14 Mar 56. 

° IstMarDiv OpnPlan 4-50, 22 Oct 50. "G-3 (Col Bowser) and G-4 (Col McAlister) 
landed by boat at Wonsan through a very narrow swept channel on the 23rd or 24 th of 
October. Advance Parties of the Division were contacted at this time and a reconnaissance 
of the entire Wonsan area was made to select and mark administrative assembly areas for 
units of the Division. Included in this reconnaissance was the St. Benedict Abbey, which 
was selected as the assembly area for the 7 th Marines in view of its projected employment 
to the north shortly after landing." Bowser Comments. 

"X Corps WD, 10-25 Oct 50; X Corps G-3 Journal, in ibid.; Smith, Notes, 285. 

It was also on the 25th that the 1st Marine Division finally began 
its administrative landing at Wonsan — as anticlimactic a landing as 
Marines have ever made. Five LSTs loaded with Engineer, Shore Party, 
and Combat Service Group elements beached on Kalma Peninsula in 
the evening. Since the approaches had not been declared clear until 
late afternoon, the main ship-to-shore movement was delayed until the 
next day. Thus, 26 October actually became D-Day— or "Doyle Day," 
as it was referred to by an impatient General Almond. 6 * 

At first light on the 26th, landing craft clustered around the trans- 
port vessels in the swept channel as troops spilled down debarkation 
nets. The first of 39 scheduled waves were shortly on the way, with 
amphibious craft of every description churning the water. 05 LSUs 
began disgorging armor of the 1st Tank Battalion at 0730, and the big 
machines, fitted with deep-water fording adapters, thrashed through 
the surf and onto the loose sand." Simultaneously, swarms of vehicles 
of the 1st Amphibian Tractor Battalion crawled ashore shuttling troops 
and cargo. 87 

At 0900, LSTs landed the 1st and 3d Battalions of the 1st Marines 
on yellow Beach, while Colonel Lewis E. Puller's regimental head- 
quarters splashed ashore out of landing craft dispatched from the 
Noble. The reserve battalion, 2/1, remained on board ship until the 
28th. By 1700, the 3d Battalion was in position for the night and the 
1st was well on the way to Kojo for a special mission. In the midst 
°f the landing, Colonel Puller received a message from General Smith 
congratulating him on his being selected for promotion to brigadier 
general, 08 

Troops of the 7th Marines marched ashore on blue Beach without 
incident, and the assembled battalions moved to assigned areas north 
of Wonsan. At 1300, Colonel Homer L. Litzenberg opened his regi- 

" IstMarDiv SAR, annex PP (hereafter IstMar SAR), 4; and Smith, Notes, 407-409- 
J»e orders covering the actual debarkation of troops were contained in CTF 90 msgs to 
^TG 90.2, 0240 and 0!>10 23 Oct 50; CTG 90.2 msg to CTE 90.22, 1328 25 Oct 50; and 
yf IstMarDiv msg to subordinate units, 1450 24 Oct 50. The order to land was given in 

u ., 90 ms £ ta 5 n - 2 > 0707 25 0ct 50 - 

. At the time of the administrative landing we thought that we might as well use the 
P'anned ship-to-shore movement for scheduled waves in order to avoid making a new 
VllPto-shore plan. In this way we were able to execute by referring to our original plan 
JgjgW 16-50] for the assault landing without issuing an entire new order." Bowser Com- 

"IstMarDiv SAR, annex OO (hereafter IstTkBn SAR), 2-8. 
„ IstAmphTracBn HD Oct )0, 2-3. 
IstMar SAR, 4; CG IstMarDiv msg to CO IstMar, 135 5 26 Oct 50. 


The Cbosin Reservoir Campaign 

mental CP at St. Benedict's Abbey, which had been gutted by the re- 
treating Communists. m 

Advance parties of die 5 th Marines began landing over both beaches 
at 0800. Priority was given to unloading the reserve unit's cargo, and 
the majority of troops remained on board transports for the night. 
Most of the regiment debarked the next day and assembled about three 
miles northwest of Wonsan, where Lieutenant Colonel Murray estab- 
lished his CP at 1800.™ 

Only the 2d Battalion and several reconnaissance parties of the 
11th Marines landed on the 26th. The remainder of the artillery regi- 
ment, went ashore the next day and bivouacked at the coastal town of 
Munpyong-ni, five miles above Wonsan. Colonel James H. Brower, the 
regimental commander, detached 2/11 to the 1st Marines at 1715 on 
27 October, but the other battalions ". . . remained in a mobile state 
awaiting further orders." 71 

The Wonsan landing, though tactically insignificant at the moment, 
was a major logistical undertaking to such units as the 1st Engineer 
Battalion (Lieutenant Colonel John H. Partridge), the 1st Shore Party 
Battalion (Lieutenant Colonel Henry P. Crowe), and the 1st Combat 
Service Group (Colonel John H. Cook, Jr.). 

Representatives from these and other support and service units had 
flown to the objective area several days before the Division's arrival. 
After completing an inspection of Wonsan, the Shore Party detach- 
ment employed 500 North Korean POWs and 210 civilians to improve 
landing sites and beach exits. This work continued 24 hours a day for 
nine days, until the vanguard LSTs grated ashore on Kalma Peninsula 
in the evening of 25 October. 72 At this point, Shore Party Group C 
(Major George A. Smith) assumed responsibility for yellow Beach 
in the north, and Group B (Major Henry Brzezinski) took over BLUE 

With the arrival of the first waves of LSTs, LSUs, LVTs, and landing 
craft in the morning, there began a routine of unremitting toil that 
would abate only after all of X Corps had landed weeks later. Because 

* 7thMar SAR, 12 ; CO 7thMar msg to CG IstMarDiv, 1628 26 Oct 50. For a detailed 
account of the tragedy of St. Benedict's, see Capt Clifford M. Drury (CliC), USNR, The 
Hiitory of the Chplmtii Corp;, U, S. Navy, (MS) V. 

• IstMarDiv SAR, annex QQ, (hereafter 5lhMar SAR), 8. 
11 llthMar UmtReport (URpt), 21-28 Oct 50. 

" The concluding narrative of this chapter is derived from IstMarDiv SAR, annexes MM 
(hereafter IstSPBn SAR), 5-3, and LFU (hereafter 1st CSG SAR) 6 and IssSFBn, HD for 
Advance Party, 1-2, 

The Woman Landing 


of the shallow offshore gradient, many amphibious craft could not 
reach the beach with their heavy cargoes, and the Shore Party troops 
had to construct ramps which projected 30 feet into the water. 
These improvised piers were made of rice bags filled with sand, with the 
result that their maintenance required considerable effort in men and 
heavy equipment. A pontoon causeway constructed on 27 October 
lessened the difficulties connected with getting troops ashore, but other 
problems persisted. 

One of these had to do with a sandbar that stretched across the boat 
knes about 50 yards from the coast. Heavier craft frequently grounded 
here, and while some could be towed ashore by tractor dozers (TD-18s) 
and LVTs, others had to be unloaded in the water by cranes operating 
°ff the ramps and from barges. 

Once men and supplies finally reached dry land, there was the diffi- 
culty of transporting them inland over the loose sand and around the 
sprawling dunes of the peninsular beaches. Trucks and trailers often 
logged down to such depths that they had to be uprooted and towed by 
LVTs or dozers. This tied up the overworked tracked vehicles when 
they were badly needed elsewhere. 

The Combat Service Group established its Class I, III, and V dumps 
^cording to plan on 26 October, but Class II and IV supplies arrived 
ou the beach ". , , in a completely mixed condition," owing to the 
fiaste of the out-loading at Inchon. From D-Day onward, from 1500 
to 2000 Korean civilians were hired daily to help segregate and issue 

, Upon the completion of mine sweeping in the inner harbor, the 
jutact port facilities of Wonsan became operative on 2 November, 
during the next nine days, the Combat Service Group dispatched by 
ra it to Hamhung 3900 tons of ammunition alone. On 9 November, 
group was attached to X Corps for operational control, thereafter 
assuming specific responsibility for such varied tasks as: operation of 
all port facilities; unloading all X Corps elements; transporting all 
e quipment and supplies to inland dumps and supply points; casualty 
^vacuation; maintenance of an airhead at Wonsan Airfield; providing 
' 0c al security; traffic control in the port and its environs; and providing 
e 'd maintenance for alt units in the Wonsan area. 
The magnitude of the logistical operation can be imagined from a 
s urv e y of statistics mentioned in Shore Party reports. By 31 October, 
Wn «i the 1st Marine Division's landing was completed, a total of 24 


The Chosin Reservoir Campaign 

cargo vessels, 36 LSTs, and one LSM had been unloaded. Bulk cargo 
in the order of 18,402 tons had moved across the beaches along with 
30,189 personnel and 4731 vehicles. During the same period, 2534 
troops were outdoaded with 70 vehicles and 4323 POWs. And in 
November, as the MAG-12 elements and the rest o£ X Corps poured 
ashore, the total of ships handled soared to 76 cargo and 52 LSTs, 
adding 30,928 personnel, 51,270 tons of supplies, and 7113 vehicles 
to the shortdived buildup in Northeast Korea. 


First Blood At Kojo 

i/i Sent to Kojo— Marine Positions in Kojo 

Fight of Baker Company— 2/1 Ordered to Ki 
for Woman Ar. 


T was perhaps inevitable after the nkpa collapse that an end-of-the- 
war atmosphere should prevail. This attitude was found in the 
CP as well as the foxhole. General MacArthur, while witnessing the 
Eighth Army paratroop landings north of the captured enemy capital, 
*as quoted by the newspapers as saying: 

The war is very definitely coming to an end shortly. With the dosing of 
that trap there should be an end to organized resistance. 1 

As another straw in the wind, General Smith had received a dispatch 
from ComNavFE on 21 October which stated that on the conclusion 
Of hostilities it was his intention to recommend to cinCFE that the 1st 
Marine Division be returned to the United States, less an RCT to be 
stationed in japan. 2 

On the 24th the Marine commander learned that X Corps had re- 
ceived a document, for planning purposes only, providing that the 
yOfps commander would become commander of the occupation forces. 
These were to consist of a single American division, probably the 3d 
In fantry Division, while the remainder of the Eighth Army returned 
to Japan. 5 

Such indications seemed less reassuring after an incident which oc- 
^tfed at Wonsan on the evening of D-day. Two Marines, gathering 
far ewood on the 1 

^ewiweek, xxxiv, no. 18 {30 Oct 50), 30. 
., T amith, Now, 403 1 Co! A. L. Bowser, Comments, n. d. See also FMFPac Staff Study: 
Establishment of a Balanced Fleet Marine Force Air-Ground Force in the Western 
TSfc" 19 Oct 50. 
ir mth, Notes, 403. 


The Chos'm Reservoir Campaign 

were the only casualties from enemy action in the Wonsan landing * 
As early as 24 October the Marine division CP aboard the Mount 
AicKinley had been advised of an ancillary mission. Immediately fol- 
lowing the landing one battalion was to be sent 39 miles south of Won- 
san to the small seaport of Kojo. There it was to protect a supply 
dump of the ROK I Corps. 6 

X Corps issued 01 13 on the 25th but General Smith did not receive 
his copy until two days later. Corps orders now assigned the Marine 
division a zone of action more than 300 road miles from north to south 
and 50 road miles in width. The missions prescribed for the Marines 
were those of an occupation rather than a fighting force: 

( 1 ) To land on beaches in the vicinity of Wonsan. 

(2) To relieve all elements of I ROK Corps in Kojo and zone. 

(3) To protect the Wonsan-Kojo-Majon-ni area, employing not less than 

one RCT, and patrolling all roads to the west in 2one. 

(4) To advance rapidly in zone to the Korean northern border. 

(5) To be prepared to land one Battalion Landing Team (BIT) in the 

Chongjin area rapidly on order. 

(6) To assist the 101st Engineer Group (C) (ROK) in the repair of the 

Yonghung-Hamhung railroad, employing not less than one engineer 
company. 8 

The 1st Marine Division in turn assigned these tasks to the following 
units in OpnO 18-50, issued at 0800 on the 28th but communicated 
orally to most of the designated commanding officers during the pre- 
ceding 48 hours: 

(1) RCT-l to relieve elements of I ROK Carps in Wonsan -Kojo-Majon-ni 

zone, establish necessary road blocks to prevent movement into the 
area, patrol roads, and destroy enemy in zone. RCT-l to maintain 
one reinforced battalion at Kojo until further orders, 

(2) RCT-7 to relieve elements of I ROK Corps along the Hamhung-Chosin 

Reservoir road, advance rapidly to the northern tip of the reservoir 
and Changjin, prepared for further advance to the northern border 
of Korea, and to destroy enemy in zone. 

(3) RCT-5 to move to an assigned zone behind RCT-7, relieve elements 

of I ROK Corps in the vicinity of Fusen Reservoir, establish necessary 
road blocks to prevent movement into the area, patrol the roads and 
destroy the enemy, 

4 CG IstMarDiv msg So subordinate units, 2001 27 Oct 50. Firewood being scarce U 1 
Korea, it was sometimes booby trapped. 

"Smith, Notes, 385; IstMarDiv SAR, annex C (hereafter G-3 SAR), 5. The assign- 
ment went to 1/1, See Col J. Hawkins Itr to CMC, n. d., and LtCol R, E. Lorigan Itr to 
CMC, 8 Feb 56 for a discussion of the lack of planning and intelligence resulting from 
this order being received while underway. 

•Smith, Nmi, 393-394; G-3 SAR, 5-6. 

First Blood At Kojo 


(4) BLTl/5 to be activated on order. Upon activation to report to the desig- 

nated commander for operational control and landing in the vicinity 
of Cliongjin. 

(5) The 11th Marines, reinforced and less detachments, from an assembly 

area in the vicinity of Hamhung, to be prepared for operating in the 
Stone of any RC1V 

Two of the objectives mentioned in these orders, Chongjin and the 
northern border of Korea, were more than 300 road miles north of 
Wonsan. With the exception of the main coastal route, most of the 
toads in the 1st Marine Division zone were mere mountain trails, unfit 
for tanks or heavy vehicles, 

OpnO 18-50 was modified the next day to provide for attaching the 
1st Battalion, KMC Regiment, to the 5th Marines, and the 5 th KMC 
Battalion to the 1st Marines. The security of the Mnnchon and Yong- 
bung areas (13 and 32 miles north of Wonsan respectively) was as- 
signed for the time being to the 5th Marines, reinforced by Company 
A of the 1st Tank Battalion, 

On the 27th General Smith moved from the Mount McKhiley at 
1000 to the new Division CP, a mile north of Wonsan, An old 
Russian barracks, it was too small and badly in need of repairs. The 
building occupied by the 1st Marine Air Wing was in even worse shape, 
°ut carpenters were soon busy at boarding up windows and doors 
Wown out by bombs. 8 

A holiday spirit prevailed among the men of the 1st Battalion, 1st 
^arines, as they entrained on the morning of 26 October 1950 at a rail- 
lead near the Wonsan airfield. Physical activity was a treat after the 
^onotony and confinement of Operation Yo-Yo, and 1/1 had been 

Beach at 0900 that morning, preparations were made for departure by 
r ail of the rifle companies at noon. Supplies and reinforcing units were 
scheduled to follow on the 27th on a second train and a convoy con- 
Sls ting of 1/1 and Motor Transport Battalion vehicles; Battery F, 2d 

W/ tMarDiv °?*> ^-50, 28 Oct 50; CG IstMarDiv msg to COs, IstMar, SthMar, 
7*>r, 2146 28 Oct 50. 
fff&k Chronicle, 66; MsiJGen E. W. Snedeker Comments, 22 Mar 56; LtGen E. A. 

:rnmg Wonsan Administrative Landing and events immediately follow- 
1950 to November 5. 1950," 4 Sep 56. 

in 8, 


The Cbosin Reservoir Campaign 

Battalion, 11th Marines; 1st Platoon, Company C, 1st Engineer Bat- 
talion; and a detachment of Company D, 1st Medical Battalion, 9 

At 1330 a -wheezing Korean engine manned by a Korean crew pulled 
out of Wonsan with the rifle companies riding in gondola cars. It was 
a bright blue day, with a hint of frost in the air; and not a sign of enemy 
resistance appeared along the 39-mile route, though several tunnels 
might have been utilized for a guerrilla attack. 

Upon their arrival late that afternoon, Kojo proved to be the most 


There remained for the Marines the task of relieving ROK units 
and protecting an area consisting of a coastal plain about 5000 yards 
in diameter which stretched from the bay to a semicircle of hills rang- ( 
ing from 150 to 600 feet in height (see Map 4). The ROK officers 
assured the battalion commander, Lieutenant Colonel Jack Hawkins, 
that his men would find their duty at Kojo a tame assignment. They 1 
admitted that small bands of escaping nkpa soldiers had sometimes 
raided the villages for rice, but added that ROK patrols had scoured 
the hills without meeting any organized resistance. 

The night passed uneventfully for the battalion in a perimeter north- 
west of Kojo while the ROKs occupied outposts along the southern 
fringe of the coast plain. In the morning the Marines found the rice 
paddies glazed with the first ice of the autumn. After completing the 
relief of the 2d Battalion of the 22d ROK Regiment at 1200, they 
watched with amusement that afternoon as the Koreans crowded into 
the gondola cars with their women, children, dogs, and chickens for h 
the ride back to Wonsan. When it seemed that the train could not 
hold another human being, a ROK officer barked out an order and 
everyone squeezed farther back with audible sighs and grunts. At last, 
as a grand climax, the officer shouted a final command and the entire 
trainload of Koreans sat down simultaneously, like collapsing* 

It was an ironical circumstance that the ROKs on the overcrowded 
train took with them the remnants of the supply dump that 1/1 was 
assigned to guatd. However important this dump may have been in its 
heyday, it had apparently been consumed by the ROKs to the point 

'This section is derived from: 1/1 msg to IscMarDiv, 1750 27 Oc! 50; IstMar SAR, 4i 
IstMar URpt (S-3) 7; IstMar HD, Oct 50, A ; X Corps Periodic Operations Report {PORl 
30; LtCol D. W. Bridges interv, 4 Nov 55; Capt G, S. Belli Comments, n. d. 

X / 1 


Position of l/l 82/1 
28-29 Oct 

-HtU 117 

c 1^ | ^ 


'J, XL. 




11 u 


\ § «» I ^% 

v ? 199 # # 

% ^Xi Station 
1 2 




Wire Party 
fired on 

& I Hill 109 



Unit locations are those of 1700 
27 Oct 50 





48 The Chosm Reservoir 

where only a few drums of fuel oil remained along with other odds 
and ends. 

That afternoon the train and truck convoys arrived without incident, 
bringing supplies and all reinforcing units except the artillery. And 
though the Marines at Kojo did not neglect security precautions, they 
had seen nothing during their first 24 hours to hint that an organized 
enemy was about to launch a surprise attack. 

Marine Positions in Kojo Area 

Lieutenant Colonel Hawkins faced a problem in selecting positions for 
his battalion. 

Mindful of my mission — to protect the supply dump until removed — I had 
to dispose the battalion in a way designated to accomplish this end [he com- 
mented]. The supply dump was located at the railroad station in the flat 
ground south of Kojo— a point difficult to defend, since it was on low ground 
and could be approached by the enemy from any direction, I considered the 
most likely direction of enemy approach to be from the south along the 
coastal road or through the valley leading toward Kojo from the southwest 
Therefore, I decided to place Company B in outpost positions to cover these 
approaches. . . . The remainder of the battalion would be deployed on the 
hill massif west of Kojo, prepared to defend the area or counterattack if 
necessary to prevent loss or the supplies at the railroad station. 1 did not 
consider this disposition ideal by any means from the standpoint of defensive 
strength, but it appeared to be the best possible disposition in the complex 
terrain to protect the supply dump. . . . Also, I did not have reason to expect 
an organized attack by large enemy forces. In the event such 2 contingency' 
should occur, it was planned that Company B, the outpost, would withdraw 
to the main battle position. 10 

Captain Wesley B. Noren's Baker Company positions were about 
two miles south and southwest of Kojo across an expanse of rice pad- 
dies. From east to west the company held three isolated points of high 

1st Platoon (First Lieutenant George S. Belli), reinforced by one 
section of light machine guns and one 3.2" rocket launcher squad, on 
the east slope of Hill 109; 

3d Platoon (Master Sergeant Matthew D. Monk) and Company 
Headquarters, reinforced by one section of heavy machine guns, on^ 
section of light machine guns, a 75mm recoilless rifle, one squad of 

10 Hawkins Itr, n. d. It should be remembered that Hawkins made his disposition' 
before learning that the ROKs had taken the supply dump with them. 

First Blood At Kojo 

3.5" rocket launchers and a flame thrower, on high ground to the west 

and south of the 1st Platoon; 
| 2d Platoon (First Lieutenant George G. Chambers) , reinforced by 

one section of 81mm mortars, one section of light machine guns, a 
' 75mm recoilless rifle and one squad of 3-2" rocket launchers, on Hill 
1 185. 

The remainder of 1/1 occupied positions west of Kojo. Captain 
Robert P. Wray's Charlie Company held a continuous line of foxholes 
w the hills that rose from the rice paddies a mile and a half north of 
Baker Company's positions. From west to east were First Lieutenant 
Francis B. Conlon's 2d Platoon, First Lieutenant William A, Craven's 
: 1st and Second Lieutenant Henry A. Commiskey's 3d. About 250 yards 
I to the east were two platoons of Captain Robert H. Barrow's Able 
Company. On the slopes north of Barrow stood Colonel Hawkins' CP 
I ^d the tubes of First Lieutenant Edward E. Kaufer's 4.2" Mortar 
I Platoon. Captain Barrow's third platoon occupied the topographical 
■ crest of Hill 117." 

1 While the Marines organized their positions during the afternoon 
| °f 27 October, a column of refugees "almost as long as the eye could 
| s ee" appeared in the valley southwest of Kojo headed for the seaport. 
' Colonel Hawkins estimated that there were 2000 to 3000 people in 
t the column. Since he did not have the time to examine all the refugees 
; before darkness, Hawkins had them herded into the peninsula north- 
i e ast of Kojo for the night. 12 

After a quiet afternoon on the 27th, the first hint of enemy opposition 
i c arne at 1600 when a wire team was fired upon in the vicinity of Hill 
Two hours later a truck and a jeep borrowed from the S-3, Major 
: David W. Bridges, received fire from the high ground west of Hill 109. 
' "oth were abandoned after the truck broke down, and a Baker Com- 
1 P a ny patrol had a brief fire fight at 1900 when it recovered the ve- 
hicles. 13 

These first indications of Red Korean activity in the Kojo area were 
i at tributed to the forays of guerrilla bands. Not until after the battle did 
tr ie Marines learn from POW interrogations that the enemy consisted 
' of an estimated 1000 to 1200 men of the 10th Regiment, 5th nkpa 

1 Maj iff. C. Noren, Report of 27-28 Oct 50, revised and annotated in Itr to authors, 
f Nov 35; {hereafter Noren rpt) ; Bridges interv, 4 Nov 55; Barrow interv, 27 Oct 55; 
,J R. P. Wrtry Itr to CMC, 24 Jan 56, 
tt Hawkins Itr, n, d. 
IstMar HD, Oct 50, end 2, 1; Noren rpt; Bridges interv 4 Nov 55. 

50 The Chosin Reservoir Campaign 

Division, This regiment, commanded by Colonel Cho II Kwon, former 
director of the Communist Party at Woman, was believed to have its 
CP in the large village of Tongchon, about two miles south of the 
Baker Company outposts. Other units of the NKPA division, which 
was credited with a total strength of 7000 to 8000 men, occupied areas 
farther to the south. 1 * 

After the Red Korean collapse, the 2d, 5th, and 10th NKPA Divi- 
sions had maintained their organization, though much depleted in 
strength by casualties. Withdrawing to the Wonsan area, they kept to 
the secondary roads and raided the villages for food. It is a tribute to 
Communist discipline that the outfits had not lost their cohesion at a 
time when their cause seemed to be collapsing. But the 5th NKPA 
Division was one of the units made up almost entirely of Koreans who 
had served in the Chinese Civil War, and its officers were fanatically 
dedicated to Communist principles, 15 

Only well trained and led troops could have launched the attacks 
which hit both ends of the Baker Company's chain of outposts simul- 
taneously about 2200, after the first few hours of darkness had passed 
in comparative quiet punctuated by occasional shots. Normal security 
measures were taken on a cold night with a 50 per cent watch — one 
rifleman remaining on the alert in the two-man foxholes while the other 
burrowed for warmth into a partially closed sleeping bag. The Slmfli 
and 60mm mortars were registered on the hills just beyond the 2d and 
3d platoons 10 

These two units came under attack shortly before First Lieutenar 
Carlon's position at the extreme west of Charlie Company's line 
assailed. In each instance the enemy infiltrated within grenade throw- 
ing distance before his presence was detected. Past contacts with 

of the 

language, and for purposes of deception the nkpa assault troops 
shouted phrases in broken English: 

"Come this way! . . , Don't shoot! We're friends."" 

"1/1 telephone call (tel) to G-3 IstMarDiv, 1415 28 Oct 50; G-2 X Corps W 
in G-3 Journal, X Corps WD, 29 Oct 50; X Corps Periodic Intelligence Report (FIR) 

" IstMarDiv SAR, 26; X Corps PIR 41, annex 3; IstMarDiv PIR 20, end 2. 

" lstMar SAR, 4; Noren rpt; Bridges intetv, 4 Nov 55, 

u lstMar tel to G-2 IstMarDiv, 2130 31 Oct 50; Wray ltr, 24 Jan 56. 

First Blood At Kojo 


The All-Night Fight of 

i The surprise was devastating, particularly in the Baker Company zone. 

: On the eastern slope of Hill 109 the 1st Platoon had no inkling until 
men yelled warnings from the foxholes just as the enemy grenades 

; exploded and Red Koreans in estimated strength of two platoons over- 
ran the position. Seven Marines were killed before they could get 
out of their sleeping bags, and others lost contact in the darkness. 

i The 3d Platoon and Company CP were attacked from three points 
to the south and southeast. Marine 60mm mortars fired within 50 
yards of the front line while the 81s laid down a barrage directly for- 
ward of the position. After a brief and bitter struggle, Communists 
believed to number three platoons were repulsed. 

i In the Charlie Company zone, Lieutenant Carlon's position was 
hardest hit. The North Koreans closed within ten feet before they 
were noticed, During the confused fighting which followed, the enemy 
won a brief foothold. An estimated 20 Marines were cut off but got 
back safely the next morning. 
After recovering from the initial surprise the Charlie Company out- 

1 posts repulsed all further attacks. Wray's men lost 6 killed and 16 
wounded during the night's encounters but could count 92 Korean 
bodies the next morning. 

At 2215 the 3d Platoon of Baker Company had a second attack at 
the same points as the first one. The Red Koreans appeared to Cap- 
tain Noren to be exceptionally well disciplined and controlled in spite 
of heavy casualties inflicted on them by combination of mortar, machine- 
gun and small-arms fire, and grenades. 18 

The plight of Belli's platoon was first made known when 2/B on Hill 
185 received a message to the effect that 1/B had withdrawn from Hill 
109 with 30 men missing. The retirement was made possible by the 
brave stand of Sergeant Clayton Roberts, who covered the movement 
with a light machine gun until he was surrounded and killed. 

The 3d Platoon beat off another attack meanwhile as the enemy 
closed in from the left rear as well as the front. With machine-gun 
fire coming from both directions, Noren informed the battalion CP 
a t 2350 that his position was untenable and asked permission to with- 

u This section, except when otherwise noted, is based upon the IstMar SAR 4—5, 
appendix II, 2; Noren rpt; Bridges interv 4 Nov 55; Barrow intcrv 27 Oct 55; IstMar, 
WD On 50, end. 2; I; Wray Itr, 24 Jan 56; Hawkins Itr, n. d,; Statement of Lt 
Jaraes M. McGhee, 15 Feb 51. 

52 The Cbosin Reservoir Campaign 

draw. His request being granted, he directed Lieutenant Chambers to 
pull back from Hill 185, covering the withdrawal of 3/B with 81mm 

The intersection of the dike and railway track was designated as the 
meeting place for the three Baker Company platoons- Noren covered 
the rear of rhe 3/B withdrawal while his executive officer, First Lieu- 
tenant Chester B. Farmer, took charge of the point. Opposite Hill 109 
they encountered Staff Sergeant Robert Fisher and five men whom 
Belli had directed to remain at the dike and pick up stragglers while the 
rest of 1/B continued to pull back. 

Fisher reported that the attack on Hill 109 had been conducted with 
skill and discipline. Whistles and red and green flares were used for 
signaling by Communists who cut off a listening post and overran a 
squad on the right flank. The assault force numbered 160, according 
to POW testimony. 

The methodical, position-by-position withdrawal of the three Baker 
Company platoons was conducted so skilfully that remarkably few 
casualties resulted. Noren lost all contact for a short time when enemy 
fire severed the antenna on his last operative SCR- 300. At about 0215 
Chambers' platoon was last to reach the meeting place, having beaten 
off several attacks during its withdrawal from Hill 185. With another 
large-scale enemy assault threatening, Noren organized a 360° defense 
on both sides of the railway track just south of the village of Chonchon- 
ni. One Marine was killed and six wounded by enemy fire received from 
the west as well as east. 

Fox Battery of the 11th Marines had arrived in the Kojo area about 
midnight and set up its guns on the beach northeast of the town at 
about 0200. 13 Baker Company had no radio in operation, however, 
until parts of two damaged SCR-300's were combined into one to re- 
store communication. Contact was made with the 4.2" mortars, which 
registered about 0300, directed by Captain Noren, and broke up the 
nkpa attack. The 81mm mortars made it hot for the enemy in Chon- 
chon-ni, and at 0330 the Communists apparently disengaged to with- 
draw east of the railway track and northward toward Kojo. Marine 
artillery had registered by 0400, but all was quiet in the area the rest 
of the night. 

Although a few nkpa mortar shells were received, enemy equipment 
appeared to be limited for the most part to automatic weapons, small 

" isrMarDiv SAR, annex SS, appendix 2 (hereafter 2/11 SAR), 14. 

Firsl Blood At Kojo 


arms, and grenades. There were indications that Korean civilians had 
been used in several instances as human shields for an attacking force. 20 
The nkpa withdrawal to Kojo led to the Marine speculation that 
the Communists meant to make enforced recruits of some of the hapless 
residents allotted a refuge in the peninsula north of the town. 
As it proved, they were not harmed by the NKPA troops. The last enemy 
effort, just before dawn, was an attack in platoon strength on Second 
Lieutenant John J. Swords' Able Company platoon by Reds who had 
infiltrated through Kojo. A brief fight ensued on Hill 117 as the 
Marines beat off the assault at the cost of one man killed and two 

Baker Company elements had meanwhile resumed their withdrawal 
along the railway track north of Chonchon. All was quiet at first light 
when Noren began the task of evacuating his wounded in ponchos 

' ' :s which were knee-deep ir 
a thin skin of'ia ' 
to lend a hand. 

The evacuation had nearly been completed when about 200 enemy 
troops suddenly moved out from Kojo in a westerly direction across 
the rice paddies. Whether they meant to interfere with the evacuation 
°t merely to escape was never made clear. For the Marines of Able 
a( id Baker Companies as well as the gunners of Fox Battery opened up 
Ir » broad daylight and found lucrative targets. An estimated 75 Com- 
munists were killed and wounded before the rest scurried out of range 
'"to the hills west of the coastal plain. 

Some contact was maintained with the enemy until 1000 by elements 
°f Charlie Company, then the action was gradually broken off as the 
Planes of VMF(N)-513 came in low with close support. 21 Although 
*he strikes by air were largely uncontrolled because of poor radio com- 
munications between the Forward Air Controller (FAC) and the planes, 
they were very helpful to the Marines on the ground. 22 

2. J i Ordered to Kojo 

The radio message bringing the first news of the Kojo fight was sent 
1/1 at 0418 on the 28 th. Owing to transmission difficulty, it was 

"Cap! R. M. Taylor tel to G-3 IstMarDiv, 1545 28 Oct 50. 
' VMF(N)-513 SAR, sec 6, 6; VMF(N)-513 WD Oct 50; 1/1 msg to 
°°50 29 Oct 50; Maj W. B. Noren Comments n. d. 
Sl Capt % B. Robinson inierv by Capt J. fc Kiernan, Jr, 6 Feb 51; Hawkins Itr, n. d. 

The Chosin Reservoir Campaign 

picked up by the 7th Marines, relayed to the 1st Marines at 0700, and 
telephoned to the 1st Marine Division.- 3 It stated brieffy that the bat- 
talion had been under attack since 1700 by an estimated 1000 enemy 
and had suffered a large number of casualties. Helicopters were re- 
quested for air evacuation and an isTH for water evacuation of the 
wounded. Air support was required, the message continued, adding 
that the destroyer in direct support of the battalion had not yet arrived 
on station. 

Ar 0830 an officer from 1/1 reporred in to 1st Marines CP with a 
further account. He reported a platoon of B Company cut off and 
estimated 150 casualties."* 

A third report from 1 /l readied the CP of the 1st Marine Division 
as an intercepted radio message at 1238 on the 28th while General 
Almond was conferring with General Smith, Sent from Kojo at 1000, 
the message said: 

Received determined attack from South North and West from sunset to 
sunrise by large enemy force. Estimated from 1000 to 1200. One company 
still heavily engaged. Civilian reports indicate possibility 3000 enemy this 
immediate area. Have suffered 9 KIA, 39 WIA, 34 MIA [Missing in Action] 
probably dead. Two positions overrun during night. If this position is to be 
held a regiment is required. Enemy now to South North and West of us 
but believe road to North is still open. Harbor is in our hands and ROK 
LST has been here. Shall we hold here or withdraw to North? ROK supply 
dump . . . removed. Request immediate instructions. Send all available heli- 
copters for wounded. Suggest send instructions by both radio and helicop' 
ters. 25 

The Corps and Division commanders agreed immediately that Kojo 
should be held, since a large-scale nkpa attack appeared to be in the 
making. Another factor in this decision was the ROK supply dump. 
Nobody at the Division CP seemed to know as yet that it had been 
removed, but General Smith directed his G-3 to issue the necessary 
orders to send Colonel Puller, CO of the 1st Marines, and a battalion 
of reinforcements to Kojo. Within five minutes Colonel Alpha L. 
Bowser, IsrMarDiv G-3, telephoned Corps to request that a train be 
assembled on the Wonsan siding immediately for a battalion lift. 2 " 

°S-5 IstMar tcl to G-3 IstMarDiv, 0700 2S Oct 50; CO 7thMar msg to CG IstMarDiv. 
1825 29 Oct SO. 
" IstMar tel to G-2 IstMarDiv, 1840 28 Oct 50. 

11 1/1 msg to IstMar, 1000 28 Oct 55. As Col Hawkins points out, the request to' 
instructions refers to his only orders being to defend the ROK supply dump which n" 
longer existed. Hawkins Itr, n. d. 

=i CG's Diary Extracts in X Corps WD, 28 Oct 50; Craig "Notes ... Oct 26-Nov 5. 
1950"; G-3 IstMarDiv tc! to G-3 X Corps, 1215 28 Oct 50; IstMar HD, Oct SO, 
4 ; LtCol R. E. Lorigan Itr to CMC 7 Dec 55. 

First Blood At Kojo 


Brigadier General Edward A. Craig, ADC of the 1st Marine Divi- 
sion, was on his way to a conference at the 1st Marines CP when he 
met General Almond and Colonel Puller, and the three compared notes 
from their jeeps. Craig informed them that action toward the provid- 
ing of transportation had already been initiated by Division. A request 
had later been made for a second destroyer to provide gunfire support 
(die first having already arrived) and an lsth for casualty evacuation. 
Another LST had been requested for the purpose of sending tanks to 
Kojo, since the road and bridges would not bear the weight of armor. 

The possibility of a major engagement taking place at Kojo seemed 
to be confirmed by two later reports 1/1 sent at 1415 and 1840. The 
first relayed prisoner of war statements to the effect that an estimated 
7000 men of the nkpa 5th Division were located at Tongchon. 27 The 
second, a radio message, read: 

Reinforcement train has not arrived as of 1800. NK prisoners revealed 
large enemy force plans attack over position tonight. Recommend LVTs with 
LSTs stand by at daylight in case of emergency evacuation necessary. In. view 
of large numbers of troops facing us as previously reported and fact enemy 
on all sides except seaward, consider situation critical. Request higher author- 
ity visit. 28 

By that time Colonel Puller and the troops were on the way. Making 
U P a train and loading it with a reinforced battalion and extra supplies 
in three and a half hours had been something of an administrative feat, 
Particularly when the battalion was just coming off landing craft. Yet 
Lieutenant Colonel Allan Sutter's 2/1 and the Regimental Command 
Group pulled out for Kojo at 1630 and a second train followed two 
hours later. 20 

Upon arrival at 2230, CO IstMar learned that there had been no 
m ajor enemy contact since 1000. Lieutenant Colonel Hawkins had con- 
tacted his unit that afternoon to his main position along the high 
ground forming a semicircle around Hill 117. The 2d Battalion and 
^Pporring arms having tied in with the 1st for the night, Colonel 
duller concluded that no further cause for alarm existed. And since 
tn -e battery positions at Kojo were limited, he radioed General Smith 

more artillery would not be needed. 30 
Seventeen Marines previously listed as MIA by 1/1 had rerurned un- 
hlJ rt to their units on the 28th after being cut off during the confusion 

gVl tel to G-3 IstMarDiv, 1415 28 Oct 50; Hawkins Itr, n. d. 
ii¥t msg to CG IstMarDiv, 1840 28 Oct 50. 

„ Craig. "Notes ... Oct 26-Nov 5, 1950"; Co! A. Sutter Comments n. d. 
Barrow interv, 28 Oct 55. 

of the night's fighting. Marine air had all but obliterated Tongchon 
that afternoon while the U. S. destroyers Hank and English were bom- 
barding Kojo. 

The request for water as well as air evacuation of serious casualties 
had resulted in immediate action. Within an hour after receiving the 
message, CTF-90 had the transport W untuck on the way with a surgical 
team, and VMO-6 sent five helicopters which flew 17 wounded men 
to a hospital ship at Wonsan on the 29th. si 

Ten tanks of Company C, 1st Tank Battalion, were loaded in LST 
S83 at Wonsan on the 28th, but the ship was delayed by running 
aground. Upon arrival at Kojo the next day, it again became necessary 
for the LST to be pulled off the bar by a tug. By this time the military 
situation was so well in hand that the tanks were taken back to Wonsan 


Wonsan Area 

Responsibility for the security of the Wonsan area having been assigned 
to the 1st Marines, something of an administrative problem was created 
on the 28th by die order sending 2/1 to reinforce 1/1 ar Kojo. For 
the 3d Battalion of the regiment had departed that same day to relieve 
a ROK unit at Majon-ni, 28 miles west of Wonsan. Since this left no 
troops to patrol roads in the Wonsan area and maintain blocking posi- 
tions at Anbyon, the 2d Battalion, 5th Marines, and 5th KMC Battalion 
were attached to the 1st Marines for those missions. 

Also available to the 1st Marines for such security duties as guarding 
the Wonsan airfield and harbor area were the 1st Shore Party Battalion, 
1st Amphibian Tractor Battalion, and Company B of the 1st Armored 
Amphibian Tractor Battalion. 33 

By the morning of the 29th, moreover, it had already become appar- 
ent that one or both of the battalions in the Kojo area could soon be 
spared. When General Craig arrived by helicopter, he found the situa- 
tion well tn hand. 34 

I been destroyed by air strikes and 

" CTF-90 msg to USS Wmttttck, 0839 28 Oct 50; VMO-6 SAR, 23. 
" IstTkBn SAR, 9, 1 1 ; CG IstMarDiv msg to CO IstMar, 1650 29 Oct 50. 
Jl istSPBn SAR, 5-6; IstMar SAR, 6; IstMarDiv SAR, annex TT (hereafter t#ASt0 

TracBn SAR) 4-5, appendix 2, 3-4. 

M, 4 Sep 55; Smith, Not*,, 450. 

First Blood At Kojo 


the guns of the destroyers when a patrol consisting of Dog and Fox 
Companies combed the ruins on the morning of the 29th without find- 
ing any evidences of enemy occupation. Meanwhile an Easy Company 
patrol ranged to the west of the coastal plain with equally negative 
results. 35 

Captain George B. Farish of VMO-6 was making a reconnaissance 
flight when he discerned the word HELP spelled out in rice straw 
Hear a straw-stack a mile northeast of Tongchon. A Marine crawled 
out from concealment, and the pilot landed his helicopter to pick up 
PFC William H. Meister, who had been hiding since losing touch with 
his unit during the enemy night attack on Hill 109. This was the first 
of four such rescues completed by Farish that day. 38 

On the afternoon of the 29th, Captain Noren led a patrol along the 
railway track south of Kojo and retraced the route of his fighting with- 
drawal in the darkness. In the vicinity of Hill 109, where Lieutenant 
Belli's platoon had been surprised, he found 12 Marine bodies. None 
had been despoiled by the enemy of arms or equipment. 

Pushing farther south, Noren encountered sniper fire from the ruins 
°f Tongchon, destroyed by Marine air, and called for more strikes. 
The Corsairs flushed out a group of 20 enemy troops, 16 of whom 
were cut down by the machine guns of the Baker Company patrol. 37 

By the 29th, when General Almond made a trip of inspection to 
Kojo, it was possible to revise the original Marine casualty list as the 
MIA casualties were reduced. The final count was 23 KIA, 47 WIA 
a nd four MIA. 38 

Twenty-four wounded Marines were evacuated to Wonsan that day 
b y APD. LST 883, when it returned to Wonsan with the tanks, took 
the bodies of 19 Marines and 17 prisoners. 

Enemy losses, in addition to S3 POW, were estimated at 250 KIA 
a nd an unknown number of WIA on the basis of more than 165 bodies 
found by Marine patrols. Curiously enough, the Communists had 
a hown little interest in the equipment which fell into their hands, and 
tlj vo Marine 75mm recoilless rifles, rendered inoperative, -were recovered 
*'th their carts and ammunition in the vicinity of Chonehon-ni. Almost 
a U abandoned equipment was found in usable condition. 38 

- * 2/1 SAR, S; lstMar URpJ (5-5) 8; CO lstMar msg to CG IstMarDiv, 181(5 29 Oct 
JU J UtMar Fwd ISUM, 1900 29 Oct 50. 

„ VMO-6 HD Oct 50; VMO-6 SAR, 3, 

„ Smith, Notes, 451; Noren Comments. 

„ Smith, Nates, 45 1 ; CG's Diary Extracts in X Corps WD, 29 Oct 40. 
smith, Notes, 451-452; lstMar SAR, appendix 5, 2; Noren Comments. 

58 The Chosin Reservoir Campaign 

Marines Relieved at Kojo 

Each of the Marine rifle companies set up outposts in front of its zone, 
Morning and afternoon patrolling, with air on station, went on during 
the last two days of October with negative results. Harassing and inter- 
diction fires were also continued until 1/1 departed. 

LST 973 arrived off Kojo at 1-430, 31 October, and disembarked the 
5th Battalion of the KMC Regiment. Lieutenant Colonel Hawkins' 
battalion, accompanied by Colonel Puller, left Kojo at 0700 the next 
morning on the return trip of the LST, The ship docked at Wonsan 
at 1230 on 2 November. That afternoon 1/1 relieved elements of the 
1st Tank Battalion at the road block near Katsuma, four miles south- 
east of Wonsan. 

Lieutenant General Lemuel C. Shepherd, Jr., CG FMFPac, who was 
acting in an informal capacity as amphibious adviser to General Mac- 
Arthur, inspected 2/1 at Kojo by helicopter on 31 October. Having 
arrived at Wonsan that day with Colonel Victor H. Krulak, his G-3, 
he conferred at X Corps Headquarters with Admiral Struble and Gen- 
erals Almond and Smith. 40 

Among the other subjects of discussion was the news that Chinese 
Communist Forces (CCF) prisoners had been taken in the area north 
of Hamhung by It OK units which were soon to be relieved by the 7th 
Marines. Several clashes with organized Chinese forces during the last 
clays of October had also been reported by elements of the 1st Cavalry 
Division of the Eighth Army in western Korea. 

The 7th Marines had been given the mission of spearheading the 
Marine advance to the northern border of Korea as directed in Corps 
orders. After parkas and other cold weather clothing had been issued 
from the beach dumps at Wonsan, the regiment completed the move- 
ment to Hamhung by motor convoy from 29 to 31 October. By this 
time the Corps drive to the Yalu was shifting into second gear, with the 
I ROK Corps far in advance along the coastal highway. Two U. S. 
Army units were soon to be involved. The 7tb Infantry Division, 
which landed at Iwon from 29 October to S November, had Corps 
orders to push on toward the border; and it was planned that the 3d 

10 G-3 IstMarDiv td to ExccO IstMar, 1450 30 Oct 50; CO IstMar msg to CG IstMar 
Div, 1521 31 Oct 50; CG IstMarDiv msg to CO lstMarFwd, 2355 31 Oct 50; IstMarAdv 
msg to CG IstMarDiv, 1900 1 Nov 50; Smith, Notes, 453-454 ; IstMar SAR, 6-7; Hawkins 
Itr, n. d.; Sutter Comments. 

Infantry Division, due to land its first units on the 8th at Wonsan, 
would relieve 1st Marines units south of Hamhung." 

Corps orders of 2 November called for 2/1 to return to Wonsan 
immediately. The southern boundary of X Corps was to be moved 70 
miles farther south, effective on the departure of the battalion from 
Kojo. In order to cover the new zone, the KMC regiment had already 
been detached from the 1st Marine Division and given responsibility 
for the Corps zone south of the 39th Parallel. The relief of the 2d 
Battalion of the 5th Marines was completed by KMC elements that 
same day at Anbyon, eight miles southeast of Wonsan, thus freeing 
that unit for a motor lift northward to rejoin its regiment. 43 

Lieutenant Colonel Sutter's 2/1 and the artillery batrery departed 
Kojo the following day. A small train and a truck convoy sent from 
Wonsan were used chiefly for the transport of supplies, and most of 
the troops traveled by shanks' mare. The column was on the way 
when the report came that the rail line had been blown up at Anbyon 
by guerrillas. The battalion halted there and set up a perimeter for 
the night which included both the train and truck convoys. At 0730 
in tire morning the convoys moved out again for Wonsan. Delayed 
slightly by another rail break, Sutter completed the movement at noon.' 13 
The track-blowing incident gave evidence that the Marines must 
deal with a third type of enemy. In addition to the NKPA remnants, 
and the forces of Red China, it now appeared that account must be 
taken of thousands of uprooted Koreans prowling in small bands for 
food and loot — the flotsam of a cruel civil war. Called guerrillas by 
courtesy, they were actually outlaws and banditti, loyal to no cause. 
And by virtue of their very furtiveness, they were capable of doing a 
great < 

IstMarDiv OpnO 18-30, 28 Oct 50; ComPhibGruOne, "Operations Report", 13-14; 
SstMarDiv SAR, 12; X Corps WDx, 29 Oct-8 Nov 50. 

IstMarDiv FOR 98; CG X Corps msg XI 1890; X Corps 01 14, 29 Oct 50; X Corps 
0/ 16, 31 Oct 50; CG IstMarDiv !tr to CO IstMir, 31 Oct 50; CG IstMarDiv msj! to 
JstMar, 1803 2 Nov 50. 

"lstMar VRpt (S-3) 8; CO IstMai msg to 2/1, 1825 2 Nov 50; S-3 lslMar tcl to 
G-3 IstMarDiv. 1800 } Nov 50; 2/1 msg to lstMar, 1820 3 Nov 50; 2/11 SAR, 14-11; 
iL1 tter Comments. 


Majon-ni and Ambush Alley 

Marine Units Tied in for Defense — Political Aspects of Mission 

irom A distance the Y-shaped mountain valley, encircled by peaks 

J/ and crossed by two swift, clear streams, might have been taken for 
a scene in the Alps. This impression was borne out by the village of 
Majon-ni, which nestled close to the earth, as seen from afar, with the 
tranquil and untroubled air of a Swiss hamlet. 

On closer inspection, however, such first impressions could only 
prove to be illusory. The most prominent building in the Korean vil- 
lage was a new schoolhouse with the onion-shaped dome of Russian 
architecture. An incongruous and pretentious structure for such a small 
peasant community, it had been erected not so much for the instruction 
of children as the indoctrination of adults in Communist principles. 

Majon-ni, in short, had been for five years a hotbed of forced culture 
in the doctrines of the Communist puppet state set up in northern 
Korea after World War II by the occupation forces of Soviet Russia. 
And it was here that the 3d Battalion of the 1st Marines arrived on 
28 October 1950. Relief of elements of the 2<5th ROK Regiment at 
KSOO enabled those troops to return to Wonsan in the vehicles which 
had brought 3/1. 1 

The Marines had been assigned the mission of "setting up a defensive 
position at Majon-ni, destroying enemy forces, and denying them the 
We of this road net." In addition, the unit was "to patrol roads to the 

1 CO 3/1 msg to CO lstMar, 1900 28 Oct 50; IstMar URpt (S-3) 7, 2. 



The Chosih Reservoir Campaign 

north, south, and west, and keep the road open between Majon-ni and 
Wonsan." 2 

This last directive was soon modified by oral instructions relieving 
the battalion from the responsibility o£ keeping open the Wonsan- 
Majon-nt road. The reason for the change was apparent when the 
troops of 3/1 covered the 28-mile route by motor lift in two echelons 
on the afternoon of the 28th. After leaving the seaport and alluvial 
plain, the shelf-like road twists precariously through a 3000-foot pass. 
This stretch abounds in hairpin turns and deep gorges which are ideal 
for setting a tactical trap, and the route was soon to be known to the 
troops as Ambush Alley. Although traversable by tanks, it offered too 
much danger from road-blocks and landslides to permit the dispatch 
of the iron elephants. 3 

The strategic importance of the Majon-ni area derived from its posi- 
tion at the headwaters of the river Imjin and the junction of roads lead- 

'CG IstMarDiv msg to CO IstMar, 1730 27 Oct 50. See also CG IstMarDiv msg to 
CO IstMar, 1515 27 Oct 50; IstMar OpnO 9-30, 27 Oct 50; IstMarDiv AdmO 
14-30, 27 Oct 50. 

' Col T. L Ridge, Notes on Operations in North Korea, 9 Sep 55 (hereafter Ridge, 
Nans) and comments on preliminary draft, 28 Feb 56; Andrew Geer, The New Breed 
(New York, 1952), 20}. 

Majon-ni and Ambush Alley 63 

ing east to Wonsan, south to Seoul, and west to Pyongyang. They 
were being traveled extensively at this time by nkpa troops escaping 
northward in civilian clothes after the colkpse of the Red Korean mili- 
tary effort. 

It was natural that the 1st Marine Division, with a zone of more 
than 15,000 square miles to control, shoidd be ordered to occupy such 
an important road junction and potential assembly area as Majon-ni* 
Thus the Marines of Lieutenant Colonel Thomas L. Ridge's reinforced 
battalion were sent as a blocking and screening force, 

Marine Units Tied In jot Defense 

In addition to H&S, Weapons, and the three rifle companies, the task 
organization consisted on 28 October of Battery D of the 2d Battalion, 
Hth Marines, the 3d Platoon of Company C, 1st Engineer Battalion, 
and detachments from anglico, 1st Signal Battalion; Company D, 1st 
Medical Battalion; and H&S Company, 1st Marines. 5 

The battalion commander and his S--3, Major Joseph D. Trompeter, 
decided after a survey of the terrain that the commanding ground was 
too far from the village and too rugged for company outposts. The 
logical solution seemed to be a battalion perimeter combined with day- 
time company OPs and vigorous patrolling of the three main roads. 
In order to tie in all units of a perimeter 3770 yards in circumference, 
't was necessary to create provisional platoons of such H&S, artillery 
and engineer troops as could be spared from their regular duties. Even 
so, the defense was spread thin in places. 

The schoolhouse was the obvious place for the battalion CP. Com- 
munication within the perimeter was by telephone, with wires laid from 
the CP to artillery and mortar positions as well as company and platoon 
CPs. Radio communication was established with the regiment and the 
division but due to the terrain remained irregular at best. 

First Lieutenant Leroy M. Duffy and his engineers were assigned the 
task of constructing on OY strip on the east side of the perimeter which 
was completed on 2 November. A parallel cliff made it 

Simth, Notes, 393-394; G-3 SAR, 5-6. 

Except where otherwise indicated, this section is based on: Ridge, Notes; and Com- 
!?<mts, 28 Feb 50; LrCo! E. H. Simmons Itr, U Jan 56; IstLt Charles R, Stiles, "The 
Dead End of Ambush Alley," Marine Corps Gamlte, xxxvi, no. IX (Nov 51), 38-45. 


The Chasm Reservoir Campaign 

land planes at a dangerous angle, but no better site coutd be had in 
this steep-sided valley. 


All roadblotks manned by Weapons Co, Perimeter between A ond B monned by H&S Co, 3/1 and Stry D, 
2/11, 2BOot-4Nov50j by Able Co., I/I, 5-7Nov, ond by Has Co., 3/1, ond Btry 0, 8/11, S-9Nov. 
Perimeter between C ond D monned by 3d Bn, KMC Rsgt, IO-l4Nov5Q. 


Topography also limited Captain Andrew J. Strohmenger's cannon- 
eers, who were almost literally "firing out of a barrel." Close-in sup- 
port was out of the question in the bowl-like valley ringed with peaks, 
but the six howitzers were emplaced so that they could be swung to 
fire on any avenue of approach, especially toward the three roads lead- 
ing into Majon-ni.° 

No difficulty was found in deciding on a water point, for tests estab- 
lished the purity of the water from both branches of the Imjin flowing 
through the perimeter. Lieutenant Duffy explained that he added chlor- 
ine only because the Marines were accustomed to the flavor. 

' }/l SAR 7 Oct-25 Nov 50, 14; Capt A. J. Strohmenger, ltr to Col T. L. Ridge. 16 Sep 

55; 3/1 msg to IstMar, n. t, 2 Nov 50, 

Majon-ni and Ambush Alley 


Political Aspects of Mission 

The Marine mission had its political as well as military side. Major 
Edwin H. Simmons, CO of Weapons Company, was given the respon- 
sibility for defending the three road blocks of the perimeter with 
Weapons Company personnel. At each of them he stationed a heavy 
machine gun section and a 3-5" rocket launcher section. These barriers 
were also ports of entry where all Korean transients were searched for 
weapons. When a group of 20 to 30 accumulated, they were escorted 
under guard to the prison stockade, just across the road from the bat- 
talion CP. 7 

There they were "processed" by the Civil Affairs Section, consisting 
of 12 Marine enlisted men under the command of First Lieutenant 
Donald M. Holmes and Master Sergeant Marian M. Stocks, known 
facetiously as the mayor and sheriff respectively of Majon-ni. Their 
decisions were based largely on the findings of the 181st Counter In- 
telligence Corps (CIC) team and the battalion S-2, Second Lieutenant 
Frederick W. Hopkins. The CIC specialists proved to be indispensable 
by contributing daily intelligence based on civilian as well as POW 

As might be supposed, the question of whether a transient was an 
escaping nkpa soldier or a harmless peasant might have perplexed 
Solomon himself. But the Marines came up with a simple off-the-cuff 
solution. Time did not permit a lengthy screening, and each Korean 
was given a brief examination with the aid of interpreters. If his head 
was still close-cropped in the nkpa manner, if his neck showed a tanned 
V-line recently left by a uniform, if his feet bore the tell-tale callouses 
left by military footgear — if he could not pass these three tests, the 
transient was sent to the prison stockade as a fugitive Red Korean 
soldier. Now that Chinese Communist troops had been encountered 
both on the X Corps and Eighth Army fronts, it was all the more 
Important that battlewise nkpa elements should be prevented from 
joining their new allies if Red China intervened. 

Some of the prisoners were admittedly nkpa veterans, weary of the 
w ar and ready to give up voluntarily. Manifestations of this spirit 
caused Lieutenant Colonel Ridge to send a radio request for an air drop 
°f surrender leaflets. 

The first full day's operations, on 29 October, resulted in 24 prisoners 

'This section is based upon LtCol E. H. Simmons interv, 4 Nov 55 and Itr, l<i Jan 56. 


The Chasm Reservoir Campaign 

being taken. But this was a trickle as compared to the torrent which 
would follow until an average daily rate of 82 was maintained during 
the 17 days of the operations. 

Roads Patrolled by Rife Companies 

Each of the rifle companies was given the mission of sending out daily 
motorized or foot patrols while manning, as required, company OPs. 
The three roads were assigned as follows: 

George Company (Captain Cad L. Sitter), the road to Wonsan; 

How Company (Captain Clarence E. Corley, Jr.) the road to Seoul; 

Item Company (First Lieutenant Joseph R, Fisher), the road to Pyongyang. 8 

All patrols reported negative results throughout the first four days. 
Nevertheless, a system of artillery and 81mm mortar harassing and 
interdiction fires on suspected Red Korean assembly areas was put into 
effect. Major Simmons was designated the Supporting Arms Coordina- 
tor (SAC), and OYs were used for artillery spotting and to call air 
strikes when planes were on station. 9 

The battalion commander emphasized to his officers the necessity 
for maintaining as good relations with the inhabitants as security would 
permit. Strict troop discipline was to be maintained at all times, and 
the villagers were allowed their own mayor and council along with 
such laws or customs as did not conflict with the Marine mission. 10 
A policy of justice and fairness had its reward when the inhabitants 
warned the CIC team of an impending attack by organized nkpa troops. 

POW interrogations and reports by civilians identified the enemy 
unit as the 15th nkpa Division, including the 45th, 48th, and 50th 
regiments, commanded by Major General Pak Sun Choi. Following 
the nkpa collapse, the division had been able to maintain its organi- 
zation while infiltrating northward from the Pusan Perimeter and 
raiding the villages for food. The mission was reported to be the occu- 
pation and control of the upper Imjin valley as a base for guerrilla 
operations, with the Majon-ni road junction being designated one of 
the main objectives. 11 

' 3/1 SAR 7 Oct-25 Nov 50, 4. 

' Hid., 5 ; Ridge Comments, 28 Feb 56. 

"LtCol T. L. Ridge, interv with HistDiv, HQMC, 22 Aug 51. 
" 3/1 SAR 7 Oct-25 Nop 50, 8; IstMarDiv PIRs 21 and 22, 

Enemy numbers were said to reach a total of 1 1,000. But that figure, 
like most Oriental estimates of numbers, had to be taken with the 
traditional grain of salt. 

At any rate, the Marines had no further doubt on the morning of 
2 November that they were opposed by a resolute enemy skilled at 
guerrilla tactics. Second Lieutenant Harvey A. Goss' platoon of How 
Company, reinforced with 81mm mortars, light machine guns, an ar- 
tillery forward observer (FO) team and a FAC, was ambushed in a 
deep gorge five miles south of Majon-ni while conducting a motorized 
patrol. The Marines, raked by rifle and automatic small-arms fire 
from an unseen enemy hidden along the heights on both sides, got off 
only the message, "We've been hit, send help, send help" before the 
radio was hit. 12 

Effective deployment in the narrow road was prevented by stalled 
vehicles. Casualties were mounting when Second Lieutenant Kenneth 
A. Bott and PFC Donald O. Hoffstetter ran the gauntlet of fire in a 
jeep. They reached Majon-ni unhurt although one tire of the jeep 
had been shot. 

The 3/1 CP was delayed in summoning air because of rhe difficulties 
m radio transmission. 13 This break in communications alarmed Major 
Simmons, acting as SAC. He persuaded the pilot of an OY to fly him 
°ver the scene of the ambush. From his point of vantage Simmons 
had a good view of the deployment of Captain Corley's remaining two 
rifle platoons, riding artillery trucks and reinforced with heavy machine 
guns and 81mm mortars, which had been sent out from Majon-ni to 
extricate the patrol. The 81mm mortars were set up just off the road 
and began pounding the North Korean cliff side positions. PFC Jack 
Golden, a one-man task force, climbed with a 94-pound heavy machine 
gun to a height where he could fire down on the Communists. Marine 
Corsairs came on station, somewhat tardily because of the poor radio 
communication, and the remnants of the enemy disappeared into the 

Lieutenant Robert j. Fleiscbaker, (MC) USN, the battalion medical 
officer, and his assistants cared for the less critical Marine casualties. 

"The account of the How Company ambush is derived from: J/1 SAR 7 Oct-25 Nop 50, 
3j VMF-312 SAR, 8-9; 3/1 memo: "Summ.iry of Friendly Situation as of 1(500," 2 Nov 
™! lstMar URpt (5-3) 8, 3; 2/11 SAR, 16; Simmons interv, 4 Nov 55; and Itr, 14 Jan 

Gipt R. A. Doyle Comments, n. d.; Maj C. E. Corley Comments, n, d. 

As a result of this experience a radio which could contact planes was later requested, 
Vl msg to CG IstMarDiv, n. I. 2 Nov 50. 


The Chosin Reservoir Campaign 

during the next day in three helicopter flights — much to the astonish- 
ment of the natives. Fleischaker and his assistants also treated Korean 
civilians on occasion, and the saving of a village boy's life by an 
emergency appendectomy did much to gain the good will of the 
community. 14 

Air Drop of Supplies Requested 

Radio communication between Majon-ni and Wonsan was so uncertain, 
because of the intervening hill mass, that it was possible to get through 
for only a few hours at night. The surest means of communication was 
a written message carried by helicopter or OY pilots, who had to insure 
delivery to regiment after landing at the Wonsan airfield. 15 

The supply problem had already begun to pinch before the first 
week ended. A convoy came through from Wonsan without molesta- 
tion on 29 October, but it was the last for a week. On 1 November, 
just to play safe, Lieutenant Colonel Ridge requested a practice air 
drop which went off satisfactorily. His judgment was upheld on the 
morning of the How Company ambush when a 3/1 supply convoy was 
attacked seven miles west of Wonsan {see Map 5) and forced to turn 

First Lieutenant James D. Beeler commanded the George Company 
rifle platoon escorting the column of supply vehicles which was under 
the charge of Second Lieutenant James L. Crutchfield of H&S Company. 
The third truck in line, loaded with diesel fuel and C-3 composition, 10 
burst into flames after running into a hail of enemy rifle and automatic 
weapons bullets. Meanwhile the first two trucks continued until they 
came to a roadblock created by blowing a crater. Turning around under 
intense fire, they got back to the point of original ambush just as the 
other vehicles were trying to reverse direction; and in the confusion 
two trucks went off the narrow road, making a total of three lost. 

A flight of three VMF-312 Corsairs led by Lieutenant Colonel J. 
Frank Cole dispersed an enemy force estimated at 200 to 300 men. 
The convoy was extricated and brought back to Wonsan after the 1st 
Marines sent out a task force consisting of four tanks, a tank dozer 

"LtCol V. J. Gottschalk intcrv, 2t Nov 55; R. A. Doyle Comments; Cdr R. J. Flei- 
schaker Comments, n. d. 

■ Col T. L. Ridge, ltr, 28 Nov 51; R. A. Doyle Comments. 

* C-3 composition is a powerful, putty-like explosive used chiefly by military engineers 
for demolitions work. 

Majon-ni and Ambush Alley 


and six trucks filled with infantry. Personnel losses in the ambush were 
nine men killed and 15 wounded. 17 

Ridge now had to call for an air drop in earnest. Gasoline, rations, 
grenades and artillery, mortar and machine gun ammunition to a total 
of more than 2 1 tons were packaged at the Wonsan airfield on 2 Novem- 
ber by Captain Hersel D. C. Blasingame's 1st Air Delivery Platoon. 
Four hours after the receipt of the message, the Air Force C-Als re- 
leased 152 parachutes over the Majon-ni perimeter, This was one of 
the Hi replenishment missions of the Air Delivery Platoon in Novem- 
ber, amounting to 864 man-hours of flying time and 377 tons of supplies 
dropped. 18 

Less than the usual amount of breakage resulted, but Colonel Puller 
considered it so necessary to push a truck convoy through to Majon-ni 
that he assigned a rifle company as guards. This mission fell to Captain 
Barrow's Able Company, reinforced by one platoon of Captain Lester G. 
Harmon's Company C engineers, Technical Sergeant Shelly Wiggins' 
section of 81mm mortars, and Second Lieutenant Harold L. Coffman's 
section of 75mm recoilless rifles. Thirty-four supply vehicles were in 
the column which left Wonsan at 1430 on 4 November. 10 

The late hour of departure was a handicap; and though an OY 
flew reconnaissance, the convoy had no FAC. A tacp jeep well back 
•n the column could communicate with the OY, which relayed the mes- 
sage to the two VMF-312 Corsairs on station. 

Barrow reasoned that because so many of the enemy road-blocks re- 
quired engineer equipment, it would be advisable for Harmon's ve- 
hicles to lead, followed by First Lieutenant William A. McClelland's 
infantry platoon. This scheme promised well when four undefended 
Cf ater roadblocks were encountered and speedily filled in by the en- 
gineers. The fifth, however, was the scene of an ambush by Red 
Koreans occupying the steep heights on both sides of the narrow, wind- 
lfl g road. 

The engineers soon had a hot fire fight on their hands. Taking cover 
behind the vehicles, they gave a good account of themselves. But the 
a klled trucks delayed the infantry platoon coming to their aid; and 

"S-2 IstMar to G-2 IstMarDiv, 1200 2 Nov 50; IstMar td to G-3 IstMarDiv, 
;*« 2 Nov 50; VMF-312 SAR, 8-9; IstTkBn SAR, U; IstMar URpt (5-3) 8, 2-3; 
lst ,[-t J. L. CruuMeld Itr to CMC, 23 Jan 56. 

J IscAirDelPlat, HD, Nov 30; IstMar URpt (5-3) S, 3. 
The rest of this section is based upon these sources: Maj R. H. Barrow interv, 7 Oct 
Sj ExecO IstMar tel to IstMarDiv 3 Nov 50; CO IstMar msg to CG IstMarDiv, 
Wf 5 Nov 50; IstMar URpt (5-3) S, 3-4. 


The Chos'm Reservoir Campaign 

lack of a FAC resulted in less effective close air support than the 
Corsairs usually rendered. Thus, with the early November dusk ap- 
proaching, Captain Barrow decided on a return to Wonsan. 

By a near-miracle the trucks turned about safely on the narrow shelf 
that passed for a road. As the enemy long-range fire increased, Barrow 
ordered lights out when the column commenced its eight-mile return 
trip. In the darkness a truck loaded with 20 Marines missed a hairpin 
turn and plunged over the edge. Fortunately, the accident happened 
at one of the few spots where the vehicle could land on a wooded 
shoulder instead of hurtling through space to the rocky valley floor 
several hundred feet below. It was found that nothing worse than 
broken bones and concussion had resulted after a human chain brought 
the injured men back up to the road. 

Lights were turned on and the convoy got back without further 
trouble. Barrow reported to his regimental commander at Togwon 
that his losses amounted to eight men wounded and 16 injured in addi- 
tion to five vehicles destroyed. 

Colonel Puller assured him that his failure had been due to an un- 
avoidably late start and lack of a FAC rather than faulty judgment 

The following morning, after departing Wonsan at 0830, the air 
controller was not needed. Barrow had put into effect a new tactical 
plan based on the premise that the guerrillas of Ambush Alley would 
be waiting as usual for the sound of approaching trucks. He prepared 
a surprise, therefore, by directing his infantry platoons to take turns 
at leading the column on foot, keeping a thousand yards or more in 
advance of the vehicles. 

The scheme worked to perfection as Second Lieutenant Donald R 
Jones' platoon rounded a bend near the scene of yesterday's ambush 
and surprised about 70 guerrillas as they were eating. The ambushers 
had in effect been ambushed. The Marines opened up with everything 
they had, and only a few of the Reds escaped with their lives. There 
was no further trouble after the convoy got under way again, arriving a \ 
Majon-ni early in the afternoon of 5 November without a single casualty- 
Losses of 51 killed and three prisoners were inflicted on the enemy. 

First Attack on Perimeter 

The supplies were no less welcome than the Marines who brought them, 
for the CIC team had warned of an attack on Majon-ni at 0100 the 

Majon-ns and Ambush Alley 71 

following night. Colonel Puller placed Able Company under the 
operational control of 3/1 for the defense, and the comma 
assigned the three rifle platoons and their reinforcing el 
between How and George Companies on the perimeter. 

This addition to his strength made it possible for Lieu 
Ridge to send out his executive officer, Major Reginald R. Myers, in 
command of a motorized patrol large enough to cope with a reported 
enemy build-up of 2000 to 3000 men about six miles northwest of 
Majon-ni on the Pyongyang road. Intelligence received by Corps indi- 
cated that this force was assembling in an old mining area, and a 3/1 
reconnaissance in force was ordered. 

The Marine task force, consisting of George and Item Companies, 
plus elements of Weapons Company, was supported by artillery from 
Majon-ni. Nothing more formidable was encountered than a few 
guerrillas firing at long-range, but Myers brought back 81 willing 
prisoners. 2 " 

That night at 0130, trip flares and exploding booby traps were the 
prelude to the first nkpa probing attacks on the perimeter. The enemy 
Was half an hour late, but otherwise the assault developed pretty much 
as the CIC team had predicted, even to the identification of elements of 
the 45th Regiment of the 15th nkpa Division. The assailants showed 
n o disposition to close, and the assault turned into a desultory fire fight. 
«l 0500, with a fog reducing visibility almost to zero, the enemy could 
be heard but not seen in his assault on the battalion OP. This position 
Was located on the How Company front and manned by wiremen and 
artillery and mortar FO teams. When their ammunition ran out, these 
Marines were forced to withdraw; but Captain Thomas E. McCarthy, 
Second Lieutenants Charles Matrox and Charles R. Stiles with an as- 
sortment of H&S Company personnel recaptured the position the mo- 
ment that the fog lifted. The enemy withdrew into the hills after the 
Corsairs came on station, and the action ended at 0730 with 
^0 wounded Marines representing the casualty list o£ 3/1 in the 
engagement. 21 

Able Company returned to Wonsan that morning with 619 of the 
Prisoners who had been accumulating at Majon-ni until the stockade was 

, 3/1 SAR 7 Oci~25 Nop 50, 5; IstMar URpt (5-3) 9 ! Ridge Itr, 28 Nov 55; Narra- 
te of Capt H. L. CofFman, n. d. 

, S-3 lsiMnr tet to G-3 tstMarDiv, 0945 7 Nov 50. IstMar SAR, 10, 3/1 5. 
1 0«-25 Nop 50, 5-6; 2/11 SAR, 17; Capt C. R. Stiles Itr to HistBr, G-3, Hr 
5 Jan 56; Corley Comments. 


The Chmm Reservoir Campaign 

almost overflowing with Korean humanity. Captain Barrow packed the 
captives into open trucks covered with tarpaulins. This precaution was 
taken in order not to advertise the nature of the cargo while passing 
through Ambush Alley, since it might be embarrassing if the guerrillas 
attempted to liberate prisoners who outnumbered their keepers three 
to one. 

Simultaneously with the return of Able Company, Colonel Puller 
ordered his 2d Battalion (— ) to proceed via the Majon-ni road 
to Munchon-ni. Lieutenant Colonel Sutter's mission was similar to that 
of Lieutenant Colonel Ridge at Majon-ni: to block enemy movement 
along the trails leading north and to screen civilians. The hamlet of 
Munchon-ni squatted near the top of the highest pass along Ambush 
Alley. Trucks could be supplied for only one reinforced rifle company 
—Easy — which departed Wonsan at 0830. 

Four miles short of the objective, the motorized column entered a 
horseshoe bend large enough to contain all the vehicles. On the left 
of the road was a sheer drop, and on the right rose cliffs 200 feet in 
height. The last truck had just entered the bend when the first was 
stopped by a landslide roadblock. As the column ground to a halt the 
enemy opened up with rifles and automatic weapons from well camou- 
flaged positions in the high ground at the far end of the horseshoe. 23 

The Marines scrambled out of the trucks and returned the fire. But 
it was necessary to attack in order to dislodge the enemy, and during 
the advance Easy Company took a total of 46 casualties — 8 KIA and 
38 WIA— in addition to six wounded truck drivers. Five of the seven 
officers were wounded, including the company commander, Captain 
Charles D. Frederick. 

It was estimated that the roadblock had been defended by about 200 
Red Koreans, who left 61 counted dead behind them and probably 
removed at least as many wounded. Fifty cases of 120mm mortar am- 
munition were destroyed by the Marines and 300 cases of small arms 

At 1615 Sutrer and die remainder of the 2/1 force arrived on the 
scene from Wonsan just as Able Company and its prisoners appeared 
from the opposite direction. Helicopters having already evacuated the 
Easy Company's critical casualties, Able Company brought the lightly 
wounded and prisoners to Wonsan without further enemy interference. 
Sutters' force proceeded to Munchon-ni as originally planned. 

B The account of the Easy Company ambush is derived from: IstMat VRpt (5-3) 91 
2/1 SAR, 6-7; Col A. Sutter Comments 2 Feb 56; TSgt H. T. Jones Itr, n. d. 

Majon-ni and 

KMC Battalion Sent to Majon-ni 

At Majon-ni an OP manned by two squads of Lieutenant Ronald A. 
Mason's 2d Platoon of How Company was threatened with encircle- 
ment on the 8th when a Red Korean force gradually built up to an 
estimated 250 men worked around to the rear. The other two platoons 
of the company, reinforced with heavy machine guns and an Item Com- 
pany platoon, were sent out from the perimeter. Artillery and mortars 
helped to scatter the enemy in confusion with estimated 40 per cent 
losses. Marine casualties were one man killed and ten wounded. 23 

On 10 November, reflecting the concern of CO 1st Marines over 
enemy activity in the Majon-ni area, the 3d KMC Battalion arrived 
as reinforcements together with a convoy of supplies. CO 3/1 as- 
signed the unit to the sector in the perimeter recently vacated by Able 
Company of 1/1." 

The celebration of the 175th birthday of the U. S. Marine Corps 
^as not neglected at Majon-ni. Somehow the cooks managed to bake 
a prodigious cake, with thinly spread jam serving as frosting, and all 
hands were rotated a few at a time to their company CPs to receive 
a slice. 28 

That afternoon an OY of VMO-6 spotted an estimated 300 enemy 
troops about four miles west of Majon-ni. Under direction of the 
aerial observers, Captain Strohmenger's howitzers broke up this 
concentration. 28 

The CIC team warned that another attack on the perimeter by the 
45th nkpa Regiment would take place on the night of 11-12 Novem- 
ber. As a prelude, General Pak made an effort to terrorize inhabitants 
*ho had kept the team informed of his plans and movements. Some 
°f the villagers took his threats seriously enough to prepare for a 
hurried leavetaking, but the Civil Affairs section reassured them and 
Put a curfew into effect. 27 

After such a menacing build-up, the second attack on the perimeter 
foiled out like a damp firecracker. A few probing jabs, beginning at 
0130, were followed by a weak main assault on the KMC front 

r "Vl SAR 7 Oct-25 Nov 50, 6. IstMar ISUM, 1200 9 Nov 50; 2/11 SAR, 17; 
^ a £t R. A. Mason Comments, 25 Jan 56. See also Corley Comments. 

a 2/l SAR, 7. Kfige, Notes. 

„Geer, The New Breed, 215. 
„' VMO-6 SAR, S ; X Corps, Guerrilla Activities X Corps Zone, Nov 50, I ; IstMarDiv 
W 3 18; 2/U SAR, 17. 

Co] T. L. Ridge interv, 22 Nov 55. 


The Cbos'm Reservoir Campaign 

which was easily repulsed. The enemy tried again to overrun the 
OP but gave up the attempt after stumbling into a field of "Bouncing 
Betty" mines. At 0600 the last action of the Majon-ni operation came 
to an end as the Communists withdrew. Friendly losses were two men 
killed and six wounded. 28 

This was the final appearance of the 15th nkpa Division, which 
apparently abandoned Majon-ni as an objective and transferred its guer- 
rilla operations southward along the Imjin valley. The relief of the 
Marines and KMCs on position began the next afternoon as elements 
of the 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry, U. S. 3d Infantry Division, arrived 
to take over the perimeter. 

The Army column, including 34 Marine supply vehicles, had moved 
out from Wonsan at 1030 the day before. Although 2/1 (less Dog 
Company) had maintained its blocking positions at Munchon-ni, the 
convoy was stopped a few miles beyond the Marine outposts by a 
wrecked bridge and three large craters. Guerrillas poured in small-arms 
fire from the high ground which resulted in two soldiers being killed 
and four wounded. Two Marine trucks and a jeep were destroyed. 

Extensive repairs to the road being needed, Lieutenant Colonel Rob- 
ert M. Blanchard, the commanding officer of 1/15, formed a defensive 
perimeter for the night. The column reached Majon-ni without further 
incident at 1530 on the 13th. 29 

Following relief by the Army unit, the Marine battalion departed at 
1015 on the l4th by truck for the Wonsan area. A total of 1395 
prisoners had been taken during the 17 days of Majon-ni' — a large pro- 
portion of them voluntary — and more than 4000 Korean transients 
screened. Enemy battle casualties were estimated at 525 killed and 
an unknown number wounded. 30 

" 3/1 SAR 7 Ocl-25 Nov 50, 6. IstMarDiv URpt (S-3) 9- IstMar SAR, U; 2/H 
SAR, 17. The " Bouncing Betty" type of antipersonnel mine was equipped wilh a spring 
which sent it Severn I feet into the air to explode with maximum destructive effect. 

3 °Air Off IstMarDiv tel to G-3 IstMarDiv, 1445 12 Nov 50; S-3 IstMar tel to G-3 
IstMarDiv, 1845 12 Nov 50; LnO IstMar tel to IstMarDiv, 1530 14 Nov 50; G-3 lstMat 
Div tel to S-3 IstMar. 1600 14 Nov 50; IstMarDiv POR 146; 3/1 SAR 7 Ort-23 Nov 50, 
3-4, 6-7; 2/1 SAR, 9; IstMar SAR, 11-12; Cant Max W. Dolcater, USA, id Inf.infr) 
Division in Korea (Tokyo, 1953), 73; Ridge Comments, 28 Feb 56. 

" 3/1 SAR 7 Ocl-25 Nov 50. General Ruffner, Chief of Staff of X Corps, later com- 
mented; "Personally, I always had a feeling that the Marines did a masterful job at 
Majon-ni, To begin with, it was a very tough assignment and in the second place I 
always felt that it Dtoke up what remained of organized units in the North Korean Army 
that would otherwise have given us a tremendous amount of trouble in our backyard at 
Wonsan. A lot of determined enemy action on our perimeter at Wonsan would have 
been most disconcerting, troublesome, and unquestionably slowed down otir subsequ 
movement to the north." Ma j Gen C. L. Ruffner Itr to Ma j Gen E. W. Snedeker, 13 Jan 

Majon-xi and Ambush Alley 


Losses of the Marine battalion numbered 65 — 16 KIA, 4 DOW and 
45 WIA. Nonbattle casualties were remarkably low, owing to strict 
enforcement of sanitary and health regulations. 31 

The vulnerability of a tenuous MSR must also be taken into account, 
and casualties of nine killed and 81 wounded or injured were incurred 
by Marines escorting supply convoys " 

Movement of ist Marines to 

From the 1st Marines in the Wonsan area to the 7th Marines leading 
the northward advance, a distance of more than 130 road miles sep- 
arated the elements of the 1st Marine Division. But the arrival of 
more U. S. Army units made possible a first step toward concentration. 

On 29 October the 17th RCT of the 7th Infantry Division had be- 
gun landing at Iwon (see Map 2), about 60 air miles northeast of 

until all 

ttungnam. Other units and reinforcing elements 
had completed unloading by 8 November — a total of 
5 924 vehicles, and 30,016 short tons of cargo. 3 - 
Transports had been sent by CTF-90 on 31 October to Moji, Japan, 
the first units of the 3d Infantry Division. The 65th RCT landed 
at Wonsan on 5 November, but it was not until the 18th that the last 
dements arrived. 33 All four of the major units of X Corps— the two 
^rrny divisions as well as the 1st Marine Division and I ROK Corps 
*-;were then in the zone of operations, even though dispersed over a 
w 'de area. 

The commanding generals of both Army units were "old China 
j^nds," Major General Robert H. Soule, CG 3d Infantry Division, had 
ee n U. S, military attache in Nationalist China during the last months 
° f the civil war. During this same period Major General David G. 
1 pfr, CG 7th Infantry Division, was senior officer of the United States 
Military Advisory Group in China. 34 
On 31 October, by order of ComNavFE, JTF-7 had been dissolved 
I ari d the TG 95.2 Support and Covering Group passed to the operational 

■ £ Vl SAR 7 Oct-2i Nov 50, 7. 

j Poj^ , ° mPm bGruQne, "Operations Report," 13-14; X Corps WD, 29 Oct 50; X Corps 

t pJ" ComPhibGriiOne, "Operations Report," 14-15; X Corps WD, 5 Nov 50; X Corps 

t , " 40. 

' ft.i ^'S'on of Publication, Office of Public Affairs, Department of State, Untied States 

t Zft'pns with China: With Special Reference to the Period 19-14-1949 (hereafter U. S. 

. m *>ons with China), (Washington, 1949). 3! 8, 331. 


The Chosi/i Reservoir Campaign 

control of CTF-90, Admiral Doyle. As the center of gravity of X 
Corps gradually shifted to the north, General Almond moved his ad- 
vanced CP from Wonsan to Hamhung on 2 November and the re- 
mainder of his headquarters on the 10th. He was joined four days 
later by Admiral Doyle and his staff as the Mount McKinley anchored 
off Hungnam. 35 

The 1st Marine Division CP had displaced from Wonsan to Hung- 
nam on 4 November as the 5 th and 7 th Marines carried out assignments 
in the north. This movement included 2/5, which had been under the 
operational control of the 1st Marines for patrolling missions in the 
Wonsan area. Not until a week later was General Smith able to plan 
the northward advance of Colonel Puller's regiment. On the 12th, X 
Corps OpnO 6 directed the 3d Infantry Division to relieve elements 
of the 1st Marines. The mission of the Army division was to protect 
the left flank of X Corps and prepare for an advance to the west. 38 

For a time it had appeared that 1/1, which had the responsibility 
for security in the Wonsan area after its return from Kojo, might be 
sent to Chongjin, 220 air miles northeast of Wonsan, in accordance 
with X Corps 01-13 of 25 October. This battalion was designated 
for the mission in IstMarDiv OpnO 10-50, issued on 5 November, 
but four days later X Corps cancelled this requirement. 37 

Before departing the Wonsan area, Puller's headquarters had anothe* 
false alarm. Small craft sighted by air on 8 November, and two 
mysterious explosions, led to the report that 500 to 1000 enemy boats 
were attempting an amphibious landing ten miles north of Wonsan 
An armored patrol of Company C } 1st Tank Battalion, was sent to 
investigate but reported no contact. 38 

X Corps directed that upon the relief of the Marines by the 3^ 
Infantry Division, the 3d and 5 th KMC Battalions, which had been 
under the operational control of RCT-1, would then be attached to 
the Army unit. 30 

M ComPhibGruOne, "Operations Report," 14-15; ComNavFE msg to NavFE, 02^ 
30 Oct 50; X Corps FOR 150; I-tGen E. A. Craig Itr, 20 Feb 56. 
"X Corps OpnO 6, 12 Nov 50. 

• IstMar OpnO 19-50, 5 Nov 50; X Corps msg X 14010 9 Nov 50; Smith, No0' 
459-460. 1/5 had been initi'aliy assigned as the standby BLT but was replaced by l/ 1 
on iLs return from Kojo. 

*> IstMar tela to G-3 IstMarDiv 1030 and 1910, 9 Nov 50; IstMar URpt (S-j) ? ; 
IstTkBn SAR, U. Ruffner Itr 13 Jan 56. 

)S X Corps OpnO 6, 12 Nov 50; Smith, Nous, 492-493 ; Dolcater, 3d Infantry Divis'to" 
in Korea, 73; CG IstMarDiv msg to subordinate units, 2305 11 Nov 50. 

Majon-m and Ambush Alley 


After lack of transport imposed a delay of two days, 1/1 initiated 
the northward movement of RCT-1 by rail and closed Chigyong, eight 
miles southwest of Hamhung, by 1820, 14 November. A motor convoy 
followed. 40 

Relief of 2/l(-) f which had been holding screening and blocking 
positions on Ambush Alley, was completed on the 15th by the 3d 
Battalion of the 15th Infantry. Other Army elements relieved Dog 
Company in the rear area near Wonsan. On the 16th 2/1 moved by rail 
to Chigyong, followed by 3/1 and the last elements of RCT-1 the 
next day. 41 

Thus the 1st Marine Division achieved a relative and temporary 
^gree of concentration. The farthest distance between components 
"ad been reduced from 130 to less than 60 miles by the middle of 
November, but a new dispersion of units was already in progress. 

n * IstMarDiv POR 145; Smith, Notes, 494 [ l/l msg to CG IstMarDiv, 1845 15 Nov 50; 
u olcater, 3d Infantry Division in Korea, 73. 

2/1 SAR, 9-10; S-3 lstMar tel to G-3 IstMarDiv, 2245 15 Nov 50; 3/1 

$ Nov 50; lstMar SAR, 12; IstMarDiv POR 154; Dolcater, 3d Infantry . 
*°">it, 73 ; Sutter Comments, 2 Feb 56. 


Red China to the Rescue 

Chinese in X Corps Zone—Introducing the Hew Enemy- 
Communist Victory in Civil War— Organization of the CCF— 
The Chinese Peasant as a Soldier— CCF Arms and Equipment 
—Red China's "Hate America" Campaign— CCF Strategy and 


Up to this time the 1st Marine Division had virtually been wag- 
ing two separate wars, In the southern zone, as was related in 
the last two chapters, blocking and screening operations were con- 
ducted by RCT-1 against NKPA remnants. RCT-7, with RCT-5 in 
reserve, had meanwhile been confronted in the north by some of the 
first Chinese Communist troops to enter the Korean conflict. 

In order to trace the movements of these two Marine regiments, it 
w ill be necessary to go back over chronological ground previously cov- 
ered. Division OpnO 18-50, issued on 28 October to implement X 
Corps OI-13 and supplementary telephone orders received from Corps, 
assigned RCT-7 the mission of proceeding from Wonsan to Hamhung, 
Prepared for an advance to the Manchurian border 135 miles to the 
ft orth. RCT-5 was assigned a zone behind RCT-7 (see end-paper 
^aps) . 

Plans for the northward advance brought up the vital problem of 
Providing security for the 78-mile main supply route (MSR) and the 
Parallel railway stretching along the coast from Wonsan to Hamhung. 
division orders of the 28th assigned RCT-5 (less 2/5), temporarily 
^der the operational control of RCT-1, the responsibility for the 
Se ciirity of the Munchon and Yonghung areas, 16 and 57 miles north 
Qt " Wonsan respectively. Company A, 1st Tank Battalion, attached 



The Chos'tn Reservoir Campaign 

to RCT-5, had orders to establish blocking positions on three main 
roads joining the MSR from the west 1 

RCT-7, after being partially issued cold weather clothing at Wonsan, 
moved by road and rail to the Hamhung area during the last three 
days of October. The 1st Motor Transport Battalion and Division 
Reconnaissance Company were attached along with other reinforcing 
units, since this regiment had been designated to lead the advance of 
the 1st Marine Division to the Manchurian border. 2 

RCT-5 completed a motor march meanwhile from its assembly area 
near Wonsan to assigned positions along the Wonsan-Hamhung MSR. 
General Almond's 01-15 (30 October) had directed the dispatch of 
two Marine RCTs to the Hamhung area, which meant that Lieutenant 
Colonel Murray's regiment was to follow RCT-7. On the 31st General 
Smith ordered him to advance a battalion to Chigyong, eight miles 
southwest of Hamhung. Murray selected his 1st Battalion and directed 
that one of its companies be detached to relieve an RCT-7 company 
guarding the Advance Supply Point at Yonpo Airfield, five miles south- 
west of Hungnam. 3 

Two additional Marine units were assigned to assembly areas along 
the MSR. The 1st Tank Battalion (less Company C, attached to the 
1st Marines) moved up to Munchon and regained its Company A. 
Since the landing of the 11th Marines (less the battalions attached to 
RCTs) the artillery regiment (-) had occupied positions at Munpyong- 
ni, five miles northwest of Wonsan. 4 

When four days passed without enemy contacts along the MSR, 
General Almond decided to expedite the movement of RCT-5 to the 
Hamhung area. In a conference with General Smith on 2 November, 
he outlined a plan for using patrols instead of blocking positions. 
Under this system RCT-1, with elements of the 1st Tank Battalion, 
would be made responsible for MSR security as far north as Munchon. 

1 IstMarDiv OpnO /fl-50, 28 Oct 50; Smith, Notes, 463-464. 

3 7thMar SAR, 12; CO 7thMar tel to G-3 IstMarDiv, n.t., 28 Oct 50; 7thMar msg to 
CG IstMarDiv, 0850 1 Nov 50; IstMarDiv OpvO 28 Oct 50. See the deraiW 
account of the move in Col R, G. Davis Comments, 7 May 56. RCT-7 did not receive all 
of its cold weather clothing until after it reached Koto-ri. MsjGen H. L. Litzenberg 
Comments, 18 Ju! 56; LtCol M. E. Roach Comments, 17 May 56; LtCol W. D. Sawyet 
Comments, 7 Sep 56. 

'CG IstMarDiv msg to CO 5thMar, 2118 51 Oct 50; CO 5thMar msg to CO lA 
1013 1 Nov 50; Smith, Notes, 463-464; 5thMar SAR, 8-9; 5thMar URpt 2; 1/5 SAR. 
5; 3/5 SAR, 5; Col A, L. Bowser Comments, 23 Apr 56. 

4 IstMarDiv msg to IstTkBn, 1750 31 Oct 50; IstTkBn SAR, 11. The move wa* 
made 1 Nov. IlthMar VRpt 2-28 Oct 50. 

Red China to the Rescue 


The Simile stretch between Munchon and Chigyong would be as- 
signed to the Special Operations Company, USA, and Korean agents, 
both under Corps control. As soon as these arrangements could be 
put into effect, RCT-5 would be free to advance to Hamhnng. That 
same day, 2 November, the 2d Battalion was released from operational 
control of RCT-1 and moved to Hamhung. 6 

Ironically, the 2d was also the date of the first guerrilla raid on the 
MSR. A patrol from the 1st Tank Battalion was sent by Division to the 
aid of the Special Operations Company, which had reported an attack 
West of Munchon resulting in a wound casualty and loss of equipment. 
The Marines drove the guerrillas back into the hills." 

as well as on the Eighth Army front. After crossing the Yalu, they 
had secretly infiltrated through the mountains, marching by night and 
hiding by day from air observation. Their numbers and intentions re- 
mained a mystery at this date, but late in October the 8th U. S. Cavalry 
Regiment and the 6th ROK Division were surprised by Chinese in 
northwest Korea and badly mauled. 7 

First-hand evidence of CCF penetrations in northeast Korea was 
obtained by three Marine officers of RCT-7. Shortly after arrival in the 
Hamhung area, the regimental commander sent out reconnoitering 
parties in preparation for the northward advance of 1 November. The 
1/7 patrol on 31 October consisted of a fire team in three jeeps led by 
Captain Myron E. Wilcox and First Lieutenants William G. Graeber 
a nd John B. Wilson. As a result of their visit to the CP of the 26th 
ROK Regiment of the 3d ROK Division, which RCT-7 was scheduled 
to relieve near Sudong (see Map 7) on 2 November, the Marine 
officers reported to their regimental headquarters that they had seen 
°ne Chinese prisoner. 8 

' CG's Diary in X Corps WD, 2 Nov 50. Smith, Notes, 463-464. The Special Opera- 
l| ons Company was a commands type U. S. Army organization, generally employed in 
■^ch operations us raids and reconnaissance. The strength, weapons, and organization 
a fended on the mission. 

■HthMar tel to G-2 IstMarDiv, 1300 2 Nov 50; lstMarDiv PIR 9. 

' EUSAK WDs 29 Oct-1 Nov 30. 
Maj J. B. Wilson and Capt W. G. Graeber interv, 20 Oct 55. 

As a matter of fact, the ROK regiment took 16 Chinese prisoners 
in all. They were identified as belonging to two regiments of the 124th 
CCF Division, one of the three divisions of the 42d CCF Army. This 
force had crossed the Yalu about 16 October, according to POW testi- 
mony, and moved southward without being observed into the Chosin 
Reservoir area during the following ten days. 3 

Not only was Colonel Litzenberg aware that he would be facing 
Chinese adversaries in this area; he also suspected that they had in- 
filtrated toward his left rear. He sent a patrol consisting of 20 men 
and five jeeps of Recon Company as far as Chigyong on the 31st with- 
out making any enemy contacts. The following morning CO RCT-7 
ordered Recon Company in 21 jeeps to conduct a reconnaissance to 
the Huksu-ri area, approximately 45 miles northwest of Hamhung. 
After bypassing a blown bridge, First Lieutenant Ralph B. Grossman's 
force dug in for the night 4500 yards short of its objective. Shots were 
exchanged several times that night and early the following morning 
with North Korean guerrillas in company strength, but the patrol re- 
turned with a negative report as far as Chinese forces were concerned. 10 

News was received on 1 November of the heavy losses taken by the 
1st Cavalry Division at the hands of the Chinese in northwest Korea. 
Tli ere was no change, however, in Corps orders calling for the ad- 
vance of Litzenberg's regiment to the border. Koto-ri, 23 road miles 
north of Majon-dong, was the first objective. The right flank of the 
Eighth Army was about 60 air miles southwest of Majon-dong, so that 
RCT-7 must advance without protection for its left flank except for 
Division Recon Company, which was to be relieved as soon as possible 
by RCT-1. 

"Under these circumstances," commented General Smith at a late* 
date, "there was no alternative except to continue forward in the hope 
that the Eighth Army situation would right itself and that we would 
succeed in our efforts to close up the entire 1st Marine Division behind 

'Smith, Notes, 534; IstMarDiv PIR 4; IstMarDiv SAR, 30. These prisoners were 
later interrogated by Gen Almond himself and formed Ihe basis of the first official report 
of Chinese intervention. Almond Comments, 21 Jun 56 ; FECOM msg C 67881, 31 Oct 50. 

16 Maj R. B. Crossman, Capt C. R. Puckett, and Capt D. W. Sharon interv, 20 Oct 55; 
HqBn, IstMarDiv (hereafter HqBn) URpt S (Supplementary), 2. Maj Webb D. Sawyer, 
CO 2/7 and Maj James F. Lawrence also made helicopter reconnaissances of the same 
ground looking for possible flanking routes to Koto-ri. Sawyer Comments, 7 Sep 56. 

" Smith, Notes, 523-524. See also: Smith, Chronicle, 70. 

Red China to the Rescue 

Introducing the New Enemy 

Here it is hardly a digression to pause for a brief survey of the organi- 
zation, tactics and aims of the new enemy who was about to prolong 
the Korean conflict by intervening on behalf of the beaten nkpa. The 
powerful, ever-ready military instrument which the Chinese Reds knew 
as the People's Liberation Army (PLA) had been forged and tempered 
in the fires of civil strife. It came into being in the late summer of 
1927 during the abortive Nanchang rebellion. Following their defeat, 
the Communists found a refuge in Kiangsi Province of south China 
and gained strength as disaffected Kuomintang units came over to their 
side. 12 

The infant PLA managed with difficulty to survive the first four 
'bandit suppression campaigns" waged by Chiang Kai-shek. When 
he launched his fifth in 1933, the Chinese Reds planned the celebrated 
Long March" which has become one of rheir most cherished traditions. 
Breaking out of Chiang's encirclement in October, 1934, they took a 
circuitous, 6000-mile route to avoid Nationalist armies. Of the 90,000 
'who started, only 20,000 were left a year later when the PLA 
reached Yenan in Shensi Province. 13 

This destination in northwest China gave the Communists a refuge 
with Mongolia and Soviet Russia at their backs. There Mao Tse-tung 
a nd his colleagues alternately fought and negotiated with the Gov- 
er nment. Finally, in 1941, the Communists and Nationalists agreed 
to cease fighting one another in order to make common cause against 
the Japanese invaders. 

The Communists took advantage of their membership in the People's 
Political Council— a Nationalist-sponsored organization which tbeo- 
ce tically united all factions in China against the Japanese — to continue 
their "boring-from-witbin" tactics, Chiang's estimate of his trouble- 
Sof ne allies was summed up in a quotation attributed to him in 1941: 
You think it is important that I have kept the Japanese from expanding, . . . 
\ tell you it is more important that I have kept the Communists from spread- 
ing. The Japanese are a disease of the skin; the Communists are a disease of 
the heart, 14 

."Richard L. Walker, China under Communism {New Haven, 1954), 111-112; Order 
Rattle Branch, Office of the AC/S G-2, HQ Eighth United States Army (Fwd), 
^- Army Histories ( h |re^fter CCP^rmy^Hhtoties), 1. 

^!l6^-1mS^'mi^'^f^i^¥t (New York, 1949), 35. 

The Cbosin Reservoir Campaign 

Communist Victory in Civil War 

In late 1945, with the Japanese no longer a menace, the grapple for 
mastery began anew. Chiang Kai-shek held the material and moral 
advantage as a result of the arms and other assistance supplied by 
the United States. 

The Nationalists controlled all the important centers of population 
and industry and the major lines of communication. The Communists, 
with their backs to the wall, eagerly accepted the United States proposal 
for a cease fire in January 1946. General George C. Marshall, as per- 
sonal representative of President Truman, flew out to Nanking in 
December, 1945, and tried for 12 months to arrange a workable com- 
promise between two irreconcilable ideologies. Meanwhile, the Reds 
retrained and reequipped their forces with the vast supply of weapons 
which had fallen into their hands as a result of the collapse of the 
Japanese Army in Manchuria in August, 1945. By the spring of 1947, 
they were ready again for war. They denounced the truce and recom- 
menced military operations. From that time the balance of power 
swung steadily in their favor. 15 

Although the PLA had seized the initiative, the Government still 
had an army of about 2,700,000 men facing 1,150,000 Reds, according 
to estimates of American military advisers in China. But Chiang was 
committed to a positional warfare; his forces were dangerously over- 
extended, and for reasons of prestige and political considerations he 
hesitated to withdraw from areas of dubious military value. Mao's 
hard and realistic strategy took full advantage of these lapses. As a 
result the Communists won the upper hand in Manchuria and Shan- 
tung and by the end of the year had massed large forces in central 

Early in 1948, the year of decision, the PLA recaptured Yenan along 
with thousands of Government troops. But the most crushing Com- 
munist victory of all came with the surrender of Tsinan, the capital of 
Shantung, and its garrison of 85,000 to 100,000 Nationalists. 

In his summary of Nationalist reverses, Major General David G- 
Barr, senior officer of the United States Military Advisory Group $ 
China, reported to the Department of the Army on 16 November \9&\ 
No battle has been lost since my arrival due to lack of ammunition an 1 " 

equipment. Their [the Chinese Nationalists'] military debacles in my opinion 

» V. S. Relations with China, J52-363. 

Red China to the Rescue 


can all be attributed to the world's worst leadership and many other morale 
destroying factors that lead to a complete loss of will to fight. 18 

By the early spring of 1949 the military collapse of the Nationalists 
had gone so far that the enemy controlled the major centers of popula- 
tion and the railroads from Manchuria south to the Yangtze Valley. 
Nanking, Hangkow, and Shanghai were soon to fall into the hands of 
Communists whose military strength increased every day as they cap- 
tured Nationalist arms and were joined by Nationalist deserters. Per- 
haps the best summary of the Chinese Civil War was put in a few 
words by Dean Acheson, the U. S. Secretary of State: 

The Nationalist armies did not have to be defeated; they disintegrated." 

In addition to the aid extended during World War II, Washington 
had authorized grants and credits to Nationalist China amounting to 
two billion dollars since V-J Day. Nor was American assistance con- 
fined to arms and monetary grants. From 1945-1947 the occupation of 
certain key cities in North China, e. g., Tientsin, Peiping, Tsingtao 18 
etc, by sizeable U. S. Marine forces held those bases secure for the 
Nationalist government and permitted the release of appreciable num- 
bers of Chiang's soldiers for offensive operations, who would otherwise 
have been tied up in garrison type duty. 10 

The Marines, upon their withdrawal, were directed to turn over vast 
stores of weapons and munitions to the Chinese Nationalists. In addi- 
tion, the Nationalists were "sold" large quantities of military and 
civilian war surplus property, with a total procurement cost of more 
than a billion dollars, for a bargain price of 232 million. 20 

Organization of the CCF 

Although the victorious army continued to be called the People's Lib- 
eration Army by the Chinese Reds themselves, it was known as the 
Chinese Communist Forces by commentators of Western nations. At 
foe head of the new police state were the 72 regular and alternate 
Members of the Central Committee, or Politburo. Formed at the Sev- 
enth Party Congress in 1945, this body consisted for the most part of 

S. Rations with Chim, 358. 
a Wd., xtv— xv. 
Marines remained in Tsingtao untit early 19-19. 
r. The first blows between the Marines and the Chinese Communists took place not in 
^ea, but along the Peiping-Tientsin highway as early as October, 1945, 
U. S, Relations with China, xiv-xv. 

Mao's close associates— leaders identified with the revolutionary move- 
ment from the beginning. 

From top to bottom of the Chinese state, the usual Communist dual- 
ism of high political and military rank prevailed. The highest gov- 
erning body, the People's Revolutionary Military Council, consisted of 
leaders holding both positions. After they determined policies, the 
execution was left to the General Headquarters of the army. 21 

This organization comprised a general staff section, a rear Services 
section and a general political bureau. Largest CCF administrative unit 
was the field army, which reported directly to Headquarters. Composed 
of two or more army groups, the field army had a small headquarters 
of its own. 

The army group, as the largest unit encountered by UN forces, was 
comparable to an army in the American military system. CCF army 
groups in Korea consisted of two to four armies with an average total 
strength of 60,000-120,000 troops. Equivalent to an American corps 
was the CCF army, an organization including three infantry divisions 
and an artillery regiment. Thus the average strength of a CCF army 
was about 30,000 men. 

The CCF infantry division, with a paper strength of 10,000 men, 
averaged from 7,000 to 8,500 men in Korea, according to various esti- 
mates. Triangular in organization, it included three infantry regiments 
and an artillery battalion. 

Divisional units consisted of reconnaissance and engineer companies 
of about 100 men, a 150-man transport company, a 100-man guard com- 
pany, and a 60-man communications company. Transport companies 
had only draft animals and carts, since little motor transport was organic 
to a CCF division at that time. 

The CCF infantry regiment, averaging about 2,200 men in the field, 
broke down into the following units: three infantry battalions; an 
artillery battery of four to six guns; a mortar and bazooka company; 
a guard company; a transportation company; a medical unit with at- 

* Unless otherwise noted, this section is based on the following sources: GHQ, FECOMi 
Order of Battle Information, Chinese Third Field Army ( I Mai 51) and Chinese Fourth 
Field Army (7 Nov 50) ; 16-i-MISDI, ADVATIS, and ADVATIS FWD rpts in EUSA* 
WDs, passim; X Corps PIRs; IstMarDiv PIRs ; IstMarDiv SAR, 50; C—2 SAR, i6-l$< 
Far East Command, Allied Translator and Interpreter Service (ATIS), Enemy Document^ 
Korean Operations, passim; Fleet Marine Force Pacific (FMFPac), Chinese Communis 
Forces Tactics in Korea, 5-11; Mai R- C. W. Thomas, "The Chinese Communist Force* 
in Korea," The Army Quarterly, Oct 52 (digested in Military Review, xxxii, no. 1> 
(Feb 53), 87) ; LtCol Robert F. Rigg, Red China's Fighting Hordes (Harrisburg, 1951) 1 
Walker: China Under Communism. 

Red China to the Rescue 


tached stretcher personnel (often composed of impressed civilians) 
and a combined reconnaissance and signal company. 

The CCF infantry battalion, with an authorized strength of 852 men 
and an actual strength of perhaps 700, consisted of a mortar and ma- 
chine gun or heavy weapons company, a signal squad, a medical squad 
and a small battalion headquarters in addition to the three rifle com- 
panies of about 170 men each. Each of the latter was composed of a 
headquarters platoon, a 60mm mortar platoon and three rifle platoons. 

The CCF artillery battalion, organic to every division, must be con- 
sidered theoretical rather than actual as far as Korean operations of 
1950 are concerned. As a rule, only a few horse-drawn or pack how- 
itzers were brought into action by an \ 
on mortars. 

The Chinese Peasant as a Soldier 

Perhaps the most distinctive feature of the CCF, from the viewpoint of 
a Western observer, was the lack of any official provision for the honor- 
able discharge of a soldier. Once he became a cog in the CCF military 
Machine, a man remained in the ranks until he was killed, captured, 
became a deserter, or was incapacitated for active service by reason of 
wounds, disease or old age. 

Theoretically depending on a "volunteer" system, the recruiting 
officers of the CCF knew how to apply political or economic pressure 
s o that a man found it prudent to become a soldier. After putting on 
a uniform, he was vigorously indoctrinated in political as well as mili- 
tar y subjects. 

Both self-criticism and criticism of comrades were encouraged at 
platoon meetings held for that purpose. Every recruit was subjected to 
a course of psychological mass coercion known to the Chinese as hsi-nao 
a »d to the non-Communist world as "brain-washing." Spying on com- 
|**Ma4 reporting political or military deviations was a soldier's 

Inured to hardships from birth, the peasant in the ranks did not 
nd that the military service demanded many unwonted privations. 
^ e was used to cold and hunger, and he could make long daily marches 
J^^ietjvhich the American soldier would have regarded as both in- 

* talker, China under Communism, 51-76. 

88 The Chosin Reservoir Campaign 

sufficient and monotonous. It would appear, however, that some of the 
Western legends about Oriental stoicism and contempt for death were 
a little far-fetched. At any rate, the CCF had to deal with the prob- 
lem of straggling from the battlefield ; and U. S. Marines in Korea could 
attest that on occasion the Chinese soldier showed evidences of fear 
and low morale. Nor was he as much of a fanatic as might have been 
expected, considering the extent of his political indoctrination. 

Although the CCF departed in most respects from the Chinese mili- 
tary past, the policy of organizing units along ethnic lines was retained. 
Men from the same village were formed into a company; companies 
from the same area into battalions; and battalions from the same prov- 
ince into regiments or divisions. Replacements were drawn from the 
localities where the unit was originally recruited. 23 

On the other hand, the Chinese Reds broke with both Nationalist 
and Communist tradition in their policy of avoiding a permanent rank 
system. Officers (in Korea denoted by red piping on their sleeves) 
were divided into company, field, and general groups. The company 
commander and political officer held about equal authority in an in- 
fantry unit, and the only NCOs mentioned in CCF field reports are 
sergeants and squad leaders. 24 

CCF Arms and Equipment 

The CCF depended on a wide assortment of weapons, so that it was 
not uncommon to find several different kinds of rifles of varying calibers 
in the same regiment. Japanese arms acquired after the surrender of 
1945; Russian arms furnished by the Soviets; and American, German, 
Czech, British, and Canadian arms taken from the Chinese Nationalists 
— these were some of the diverse sources. And it is a tribute to the 
adaptability of the Chinese Reds that they managed to utilize such 
military hand-me-downs without disastrous confusion. 

Paper work was at a minimum in a force which kept few records and 
numbered a great many illiterates. As for logistics, each soldier was 
given a four-day food supply in the winter of 1950-1951 when he 
crossed the Yalu — usually rice, millet or soy beans carried in his pack. 
Afterwards, food was to be procured locally by extortion or confisca- 

SvATIS F«S rJ 0213 in EUSAK WD, 14 Nov 50; G-3 SAR, 21-22. 

Red China to 

tion, though the Communists were fond of using such euphemisms as 
"purchase" or "donation" to denote those processes. 215 

The CCF soldiers who fought in Korea during the winter of 1950- 
1951 wore a two-piece, reversible mustard -yellow and white uniform 
of quilted cotton and a heavy cotton cap with fur-lined ear flaps. Issued 
to the troops just before crossing the Yalu, the quilted cotton blouse 
and trousers were worn over the standard summer uniform and any 
other layers of clothing the soldier may have acquired. 

The first CCF units in action had canvas shoes with crepe rubber 
soles. Later arrivals were issued a half-leather shoe or even a full 
leather boot. Chinese footwear was of poor quality and few of the 
troops wore gloves in cold weather. The consequence was a high rate 
of frostbitten hands and feet. 28 

The CCF soldier usually carried a shawl-like blanket in addition to 
the small pack containing his food as well as personal belongings. 
These were few and simple, for it could never be said that the Chinese 
Reds pampered their soldiers. 


It was essentially an Asiatic guerrilla army which came to die rescue of 
beaten Red Korea in the autumn of 1950. CCF strategic aims had 
been summed up years before by Mao Tse-tung himself: 

We are against guerilla-ism of the Red Army, yet we must admit its guerrilla 
character. We are opposed to protracted campaigns and a strategy of quick 
decision while we believe in a strategy of protracted war and campaigns of 
quick decision. As we are opposed to fixed operational fronts and positional 
warfare, we believe in unfixed operational fronts and a war of maneuvers. 
We are against simply routing the enemy, and believe in a war of annihilation. 
We are against two-fistism in strategic directions and believe in one-fistism. 
We are against the institution of a big rear and believe in a small rear. We 

31 There is some evidence of an attempt to supply troops from division stocks. See 
^QVATIS 1245 in EUSAK WD, 4 Dec 50, and 164-MISDI-1176 in Ibid., 1 Nov 50. 
formal CCF doctrine, however, field that a division should be committed to combat for 
*Dout six days and then withdrawn to replenish its supplies and replace casualties. 
*WS procedure, naturally, definitely limited the extent of an attack by the CCF and 
Prevented the maintenance of the momentum for an extended offensive. MajGen D. G. 
"arr testimony in MacArihar Hearing, 2650; Bowser Comments, 23 Apr 56. 

' X Corps msg X 11792; G-2 SAR, 21-22; SSgt Robert W. Tallent, "New Enemy/' 
teatherneck Magazine, xxxiv, No. 2 (Feb 51), 12-15 ; 3/1 SAR 26 Nov-15 Dee 50,11. 


The Chosin Reservoir Campaign 

are against absolute centralized command and believe in a relatively central- 
ized command. 27 

Mao was held in such reverence as a veteran Chinese Communist 
leader that long passages of his writings were committed to memory. 
His strategic ideas, therefore, deserve more than passing consideration. 
In the first place, his concept of war itself differed from that of Western 

"There are only two kinds of war in history, revolutionary and 
counter-revolutionary," he wrote. "We support the former and oppose 
the latter. Only a revolutionary war is holy." 28 

From the Western viewpoint, Mao's followers had fought four dif- 
ferent wars in close succession — against the Chinese Nationalists from 
1927 to 1936; against the Japanese from 1937 to 1945; against the 
Nationalists in a second war from 1946 to 1949; and against the United 
Nations, beginning in 1950. But Mao and his colleagues saw this period 
as one prolonged war in which revolutionists were pitted against coun- 
ter-revolutionary adversaries. The fact that the conflict had lasted for 
a generation did not disturb Communist leaders who envisioned a con- 
tinual state of war "to save mankind and China from destruction." 

"The greatest and most ruthless counter-revolutionary war is press- 
ing on us," continued Mao. "If we do not hoist the banner of revo- 
lutionary war, a greater part of the human race will face extinction." 39 

Early in December, 1949, following Red China's victory over the t 
Nationalists, Mao arrived in Moscow for a series of talks with Stalin 
which lasted until 4 March 1950. The decisions reached in these con- 
ferences are not known, but it was probably no coincidence that the 
Communist puppet state in North Korea violated the world's peace 
a few months later. It is perhaps also significant that the head of the 
Soviet Military Mission in Tokyo, Lieutenant General Kuzma Derev- 
yanko, was absent from Tokyo during the same period and reported 
in Moscow. 30 

It was the Year of the Tiger in the Chinese calendar, and a "Resist 
America, Aid Korea" movement was launched in Red China when the 
United States came co the aid of the Republic of Korea. Every dic- 
tatorship must have some object of mass hatred, and Mao found the 

" Mao Tse-tung: Strategic Problems of Chinese Revolutionary Wars, Ed by LtCol F. B- 
Nihart (Quantko, 1951), 17-18- Adapted from an English translation published in the 
China Digest, of Hong Kong. 

"Ibid., A. 

■ ibid. 

" LtGen E. M. Almond Comments, 22 Jim 56. 

Red China to the Rescue 

United States ideal for the purpose. A "Hate America" campaign was 
inaugurated after the CCF intervention, with the following serving as 
an example of anti-American propaganda: 

This [the United States) is the paradise of gangsters, swindlers, rascals, 
special agents, fascist germs, speculators, debauchers, and all the dregs of man- 
kind. This is the world's manufactory and source of such crimes as reaction, 
darkness, cruelty, decadence, corruption, debauchery, oppression of man by 
man, and cannibalism. This is the exhibition ground of all the crimes which 
can possibly be committed by mankind. This is a living hell, ten times, one 
hundred times, one thousand times worse than can possibly be depicted by 
the most sanguinary of writers. Here the criminal phenomena that issue 
forth defy the imagination of human brains. Conscientious persons can only 
wonder how the spiritual civilization of mankind can be depraved to such 
an extent . 31 

Communist doctrine held that the people must be incited by such 
propaganda to a constant high pitch of emotional intensity for the 
sacrifices demanded by total war. The prevalence of illiteracy made it 
necessary to depend largely on street-corner loud speakers blaring forth 
radio harangues. Realistic broadcasts of the torture and execution of 
political deviates were also heard at times, and such spectacles were 
exhibited for the edification of the public. 32 

CCF strategy was so rudimentary at first that its basic tenets could be 
summed up in a 16- word principle adopted by the Central Committee: 
Enemy advancing, we retreat; enemy entrenched, we harass; enemy ex- 
hausted, we attack; enemy retreating, we pursue. 33 
But as time went on, other principles were added. Mao favored a 
planned defensive-offensive as the only valid strategy against superior 
e nemy numbers. He made it plain, however, that any withdrawal was 
to be merely temporary as the preliminary to advancing and striking 
at the first advantageous opportunity. And he reiterated that annihila- 
tion of the enemy must always be the final goal of strategy. 3 * 

It was in the field of tactics that the essentially guerrilla character 
^Jh^CCF was most fully revealed. Since Communist dialectics in- 

u " 1 E * cer Pt from a series of three articles, "took, This is the American Way of Life," 
CnZ M a primct in the " Hatc America" campaign. Quoted in Walker, Chin* Under 

2 lb 'd. 

Strategic Problems, 31. 

the Cbos'm Reservoir Campaign 

sis ted that there was a correct (Marxist) and an incorrect ("petty bour- 
geois" or "opportunist" or "reactionary") way of doing everything, 
CCF tactics were reduced to principles whenever possible. 

A generation of warfare against material odds had established a pat- 
tern of attack which proved effective against armies possessing an ad- 
vantage in arms and equipment One Marine officer has aptly defined 
a Chinese attack as "assembly on the objective." 35 The coolie in the 
CCF ranks had no superior in the world at making long approach 
marches by night and hiding by day, with as many as fifty men sharing 
a hut or cave and subsisting on a few handfuls of rice apiece. Night 
attacks were so much the rule that any exception came as a surprise. 
The advancing columns took such natural routes as draws or stream 
beds, deploying as soon as they met resistance. Combat groups then 
peeled off from the tactical columns, one at a time, and closed with 
rifles, submachine guns, and grenades. 

Once engaged and under fire, the attackers hit the ground. Rising at 
any lull, they came on until engaged again; but when fully committed, 
they did not relinquish the attack even when riddled with casualties. 
Other Chinese came forward to take their places, and the build-up 
continued until a penetration was made, usually on the front of one 
or two platoons. After consolidating the ground, the combat troops 
then crept or wriggled forward against the open flank of the next 
platoon position. Each step of the assault was executed with practiced 
stealth and boldness, and the results of several such penetrations on a 
battalion front could be devastating. 30 

The pattern of attack was varied somewhat to suit different occasions. 
As an example of an action in which the CCF used mortars, the fol- 
lowing is quoted from a Marine field report: 

Five to nine men [CCF] patrols were sent out forward of the main body 
in an attempt to locate or establish [our] front lines and flanks. After these 
patrols had withdrawn or been beaten off, white phosphorus mortar shells 
were dropped about the area in an attempt to inflict casualties. By closely 
watching the area for movement in removing these casualties, they attempted 
to establish the location of our front lines. After establishing what they 
believed were the front lines, white phosphorous shells were dropped in the 
lines and used as markers. While this was taking place, the assault troops 
crawled forward to distances as close as possible to the front lines . . . [and] 
attacked at a given signal. The signal in tin's particular instance was three 

w Bowser Comments, 23 Apr 56. 

"The above description was derived from S. L. A. Marshall, "CCF in the Attack" 
iUSAK Staff Memorandum ORO-S-26*), 5 Jan 51. 

Red China to the Rescue 93 

blasts of a police whistle. The attacking troops then rose and in a perfect 
skirmish formation rushed the Front line. 37 

It might be added that this attack resulted in a CCF penetration on a 
platoon front. Friendly lines were restored only by dawn counter- 

The ambush was a favorite resort of Chinese commanders. What- 
ever the form of attack, the object was usually fractional ization of an 
opposing force, so that the segments could be beaten in detail by a 
local superiority in numbers. 

CCF attacking forces ranged as a rule from a platoon to a company 
in size, being continually built up as casualties thinned the ranks. Re- 
ports by newspaper correspondents of "hordes" and "human sea" 
assaults were so unrealistic as to inspire a derisive Marine comment: 

"How many hordes are there in a Chinese platoon?" 

After giving CCF tactics due credit for their merits, some serious 
weaknesses were also apparent, The primitive logistical system put 
such restrictions on ammunition supplies, particularly artillery and mor- 
tar shells, that a Chinese battalion sometimes had to be pulled back to 
wait for replenishments if the first night's attack failed. At best the 
infantry received little help from supporting arms. 88 

POW interrogations revealed that in many instances each soldier 
was issued 80 rounds of small arms ammunition upon crossing the 
Yalu. This was his total supply. The artillery and mortars were so 
limited that they must reserve their fire for the front line while passing 
u p lucrative targets in the rear areas. Some attempts were made to 
bring reserve stocks up to forward supply dumps about 30 miles behind 
the front, but not much could be accomplished with animal and human 

A primitive communications system also accounted for CCF short- 
comings. The radio net extended only down to the regimental level, 
and telephones only to battalions or occasionally companies, Below the 
battalion, communication depended on runners or such signaling de- 
vices as bugles, whistles, flares, and flashlights. 80 

* 3/1 SAR 26 Noi'-li Dec SO, 9. The remainder of the section, unless otherwise 
noted, is based on: Ibid.; G-2 SAR, 13-45; IstMar SAR, 28-29; SthMar SAR, 38-44; 

a SAK Combat Information Bulletin No. 4; FMFPac, CCP Tactics, 1-5. 
These weaknesses, however, were confined to the early months of CCF participation 
W the Korean conflict. Following the peace talks in the summer of 1951 — an interlude 
With the enemy exploited for military purposes — -the Chinese gradually built up to an 
equality with UN forces in mortars and artillery. 

1«-MISDI-1232, 1260, 1266, 1274, and 1275 in EUSAK WD, 19. 26, and 
« Nov and 1 Dec 50; ADVATIS FWD #1. Rpt 0271 in EUSAK WD 4 Dec 50; 
* Corps P1R 81, Annex 2; G-2 SAR, 17-18. 

The Choshi Reservoir Campaign 

The consequence was a tactical rigidity which at times was fatal. 
Apparently CCF commanding officers had little or no option below 
the battalion level. A battalion once committed to the attack often 
kept on as long as its ammunition lasted, even if events indicated that 
it was beating out its brains against the strongest part of the opposing 
line. The result in many such instances was tactical suicide. 

After these defects are taken into full account, however, the Chinese 
soldier and the Korean terrain made a formidable combination. Iron- 
ically, Americans fighting the first war of the new Atomic Age were 
encountering conditions reminiscent of the border warfare waged by 
their pioneer forefathers against the Indians. These aborigines, too, 
were outweighed in terms of weapons and equipment. But from time 
immemorial the night has always been the ally of the primitive fighter, 
and surprise his best weapon. Thus the Americans in Korea, like their 
ancestors on the Western plains, could never be sure when the darkness 
would erupt into flame as stealthy foes seemed to spring from the very 


The Battle of Sudong 

The MSR from Hungnam to Yudam-ni—ROKs Relieved by 
yth Marines— CCF Counterattack at Sudong— Two Marine Bat- 
talions Cut Off— End of NKPA Tank Regiment— The Fight 
for How Hill—Disappearance of CCF Remnants— Koto-ri Oc- 
cupied by jtb Marines 

The coastal plain of the Songchon estuary is one of the most 
spacious flatlands in all North Korea. Its 100 square miles divide 
into two irrigation districts, which regulate cultivation in a virtual sea 
of rice paddies, The Songchon River, swollen by tributaries in its 
descent from the northern hinterland, nourishes this agricultural com- 
plex before flowing into the Sea of Japan. 

Flanking the mouth of the waterway are the port city of Hungnam 
to the north and the town of Yonpo, with its modern airfield, to the 
south. Eight miles upstream lies Hamhung, an important transporta- 
tion center with a population of approximately 85,000 Koreans and 
Japanese in 1940. 

Hamhung straddles the main railroad connecting Wonsan and Sonjin 
a s it follows the coastal route to the border of Soviet Russia. A nar- 
row-gauge line (2' 6") stems from Hungnam and passes through 
Hamhung before penetrating into the mountainous heart of North 
Korea. Parallel to this railroad is the only highway that could be 
utilized by the transport of the 1st Marine Division for its advance to 
the north. 

The MSR from 

the eyes of the world would 
binding 78-mile st 

to Yudam-ni 

on maps of the narrow, 



The Cbosin Reservoir Campaign 

port of Hungnam to the forlorn village of Yudam-ni at the western 
tip of the Chosin Reservoir. Distances in road miles between paints 
along the route are as follows: 

Hungnam to Hamhung , 8 

Hamhung to Oro-ri 8 

Oro-ri to Majon-dong 14 

Majon-dong to Sudong 7 

Sudong to Chinhung-ni 6 

Chinhung-ni to Koto-ri 10 

Koto-ri to Hagaru 11 

Hagaru to Yudam-ni 14 


The first half o£ the distance — the 43 miles from Hungnam to Chin- 
hung-ni — is traversed by a two-lane road passing through comparatively 
level terrain. Rolling country is encountered north of Majon-dong, 
but it is at Chinhung-ni that the road makes its abrupt climb into a 
tumbled region of mile-high peaks. There are few straight or level 
stretches all the rest of the 35 miles to Yudam-ni, but the route from 
Chinhung-ni to Koto-ri is the most difficult. 

Funchilin Pass, comprising eight of these ten miles, represents an 
ascent of 2500 feet for a straining jeep or truck. The road is merely 
a twisting, one-way shelf, with a cliff on one side and a chasm on the 

About two miles south of Koto-ri the trail reaches a rugged plateau 
region. There it rejoins the railway along the Changjin River, though 
the narrow-gauge line was operative only from Hamhung to Chin- 

Hagaru, at the southern tip of the Chosin Reservoir, with highways 
branching off on both sides of that body of water, was an important 
communications center before the war. And even though many build- 
ings had been flattened by bombing, the town was still impressive as 
compared to such wretched mountain hamlets as Koto-ri and Chin- 

The road from Hagaru to Yudam-ni climbs from the tableland at the 
foot of the Chosin Reservoir and winds its way up to 4000-foot Tok- 
tong Pass. Descending through gloomy gorges, it finally reaches a 
broad valley leading to Yudam-ni, where roads branch off to the north, 
west, and south from a western arm of the Reservoir. 

This was the 78-mile main supply route that would soon be claim- 


The Chosin Reservoir Campaign 

ing its page in history. In only a few weeks it would be known to 
thousands of Marines as the MSR, as if there never had been another. 

Officers and NCOs of the 7 th Marines, which was fated to be the 
first United States unit to defeat the Chinese Communists in battle, 
were given a verbal preview of the MSR and the part it might play in 
their future. This was as the result of a flight of inspection made by 
Major Henry J, Woessner on 30 October, following a briefing at the 
X Corps CP in Wonsan. The S-3 of the 7th Marines was fortunate 
enough to arrive just in time to hear the briefing given General Barr by 
General Almond. Pointing to the map, the X Corps commander indi- 
cated that the 7th Infantry Division would push northward to Hyesan- 
jin on the Yalu. Meanwhile the Marines were to head for the border 
by way of Chinhung-ni, Koto-ri and Hagaru while the 3d Infantry 
Division took over responsibility for the rear area. 

"When we have cleared all this out," concluded General Almond, 
pointing again to the map, "the ROKs will take over, and we will pull 
our divisions out of Korea." 1 

At the X Corps CP, Woessner met a U. S. Army liaison officer just 
returned from the 26th ROK Regiment with a report of that unit's 
encounter with Chinese Communists. The ROKs had been north of 
Sudong when they collided with the new enemy and were pushed back, 
after taking 16 prisoners. 

Colonel Edward H. Forney, ranking Marine officer on the X Corps 
staff, arranged for Major Woessner to make a reconnaissance flight over 
the Hamhung-Hagaru route in an Air Force T-6. The S-3 saw no sign 
of enemy troop movements all the way to the northern end of the 
Chosin Reservoir, but he did not fail to note the formidable character 
of the terrain through which the new MSR passed. 

When he returned that evening with his report, Colonel Litzenberg 
called a meeting of officers and NCOs at the regimental CP. In an 
informal talk, he told them that they might soon be taking part in the 
opening engagement of World War III. 

"We can expect to meet Chinese Communist troops," he concluded, 
"and it is important that we win the first battle. The results of that 
action will reverberate around the world, and we want to make sure 

1 Descriptions o f the briefing session and reconnaissance flight are based on UCol H. I 
Woessner Comments, 13 Nov 56. 

' LiUenberg Comments, 19 Jul 56; Woessnec Comments, 15 Nov 56; Maj M. E. Roach 
Comments, 17 May 56. The quotation is from Litzenberg. 

The Battle of Sudotig 99 
ROKs Relieved by jth Marines 

On 1 November the 7th Marines trucked out of Hamhung to an as- 
sembly area midway between Oro-ri and Majon-dong. Moving into 
position behind the 26th ROK Regiment without incident, Colonel 
Litzenberg ordered a reconnaissance which took Lieutenant Colonel 
Raymond G. Davis* 1st Battalion about four miles northward to the 
South Korean positions above Majon-dong. Late that afternoon the 
regiment secured for the night in a tight perimeter. 3 

Attached to the regiment were the 3d Battalion, 11th Marines (Major 
Francis F, Parry) ; Division Reconnaissance Company (First Lieutenant 
Ralph B. Ctossman) ; Company D, 1st Engineer Battalion (Captain 
Byron C. Turner) ; 1st Motor Transport Battalion (Lieutenant Colonel 
Olin L. Beall; Company E, 1st Medical Battalion (Lieutenant Com- 
mander Charles K. Holloway) ; and detachments from the 1st Signal 
Battalion, 1st Service Battalion, and Division Military Police Company.* 
Intelligence based on the questioning of the 16 prisoners taken by 
the ROKs had revealed that they had been attacked by elements of the 
370th Regiment of the 124th CCF Division. Along with the 125th 
a nd 126th, the other two divisions of the 42d CCF Army, the 124th 
had crossed the Yalu during the period 14-20 October. After march - 
'ng southeast via Kanggye and Changjin, the unit deployed for the 
defense of the Chosin Reservoir power complex while the 126th pushed 
eastward to the Fusen Reservoir and the 125th protected the right 
flank of the 42d CCF Army. 6 

X Corps G-2 officers concluded that these CCF forces were "prob- 
ably flank security" for the enemy's 4 th Army Group across the penin- 
sula in the EUSAK zone. The G-2 section of the 1st Marine Division 
arrived at this interpretation: 

The capture by the 26th ROK Regt. of 16 POWs identified as being mem- 
bers of the 1 24th CCF Division . . . would seem to indicate that the CCF 
has decided to intervene in the Korean War, It would indicate, also, that 
this reinforcement is being effected by unit rather than by piecemeal replace- 
ment from volunteer cadres. However, until more definite information is 
obtained it must be presumed that the CCF has not yet decided on full scale 
intervention. 7 

Division intelligence officers concluded their analysis with the com- 
a 7thMar SAR, 5, 7. 

; \ b >a„ 3. Col R. G. Davis Comments, n. d. 

t J^MarDiv FIR 6. WiJson-Grnebcr interv. 20 Oct 55. 

100 The Chosin Reservoir Campaign 

merit, "The advantage to be gained by all-out intervention, at a time 
when the NK forces are on the verge of complete collapse, is not 
readily apparent." 8 

There was little activity in the valley on 31 October and 1 November. 
The ROKs, upon learning that they would be relieved shortly by the 
7 th Marines, withdrew from advance positions near Sudong to a valley 
junction about four miles south of that town. Here, at 0600 on 2 No- 
vember, they were hit by an enemy "counterattack" which, since it was 
of about two-platoon strength and of only 30 minutes duration, 
amounted really to a CCF combat patrol action. 6 

Shortly after this clash, Lieutenant Colonel Raymond G. Davis' 1st 
Battalion, 7th Marines, moved out of the regimental assembly area and 
marched toward the ROK lines at Majon-dong in route column. Major 
"Webb D. Sawyer's 2d Battalion followed at an interval of 500 yards, 
while overhead the Corsairs of VMF-312 orbited on station for recon- 
naissance and close air support missions. 10 

The passage of lines proceeded smoothly and quietly, save for the 
drone of aircraft as they probed the reaches of the valley. It was over 
by 1030. Thereafter, progress to the front was slow and watchful. Led 
by Company A, under Captain David W. Banks, the 1st Battalion took 
ineffectual long-range CCF fire with only a few casualties. Batteries G 
and H of 3/1 1 displaced forward during the morning, and at noon 
Battery I opened up with the first of 26 missions fired by the artillery 
battalion that day. 

Though second in the tactical column, 2/7 was responsible for high 
ground on both sides of the MSR, dominated on the left by Hill 698. 
Company D ascended the eastern slopes early in the afternoon to relieve 
a ROK unit that apparently had been unable to hold the crest. When 
the South Koreans saw the '. ' 

' Ibid. 

*■ IstMarDiv PIRS 7 & S; Wilson-Graeber interv, 20 Oct 55. 

a The account of 2 Nov, unless otherwise noted, is derived from: IstMarDiv SAR, 
annex SS, appendix 3 (hereafter 5/M SAR), 3; G-3 SAR, 16; 7thMar SAR, 12; VMF- 
312 SAR, 8-9; VMF(N)-513 SAR, sec 6, 10; Col H. L. Ltaenberg interv by HistDiv 
HQMC, 27-30 Apr and 10 Jul 51 ; I-tCol F. F. Parrv interv by HistDiv HQMC, A Apr 51 ; 
Caps D. C. Holland, J. G. theros, and H. G. Connell interv by HistBr G-3 HQMC, n, d,; 
W. f. Davis interv, 18 Oct 55; IstLt W. F. Goggin interv by HistDiv HQMC, n. d.; 
7thMar msg to CG IstMarDiv, 1157 2 Nov 30; MajGen H. 1. Liuenbwg Comments, 
19 Jul 56; Col A. L. Bowser Comments, n. d.; LtCol M. A. Hull Comments, n. d.; 
Woessner Comments, 13 Nov 55; Capt W. J. Davis Comments, 15 Apr 56; Bey Com- 
ments, 24 Apr 51. 


The Chosin Reservoir Campaign 

cloned their position about midway up the slope and headed for the 

Dog Company continued up the exposed hillside. Scattered enemy 
shots from the top of the ridge gradually merged into a pattern of light 
resistance as the Marines climbed higher. Captain Milton A. Hull 
ordered his troops to halt, deployed his machine guns for return fire, 
and radioed for an air strike. Within a few minutes a flight of Corsairs 
swept down and worked over the ridgeline. 

Hull's only assault route traversed a barren area about 50 yards from 
the crest. His two assault platoons, fully exposed to the enemy's obser- 
vation, inched upward by fire and movement, taking casualties, and 
finally reached the top. Their foothold on the ridgetine did not dis- 
courage the Red Chinese, who continued to pour fire from skillfully 
camouflaged positions. To prevent continued attrition among his now 
exhausted troops (by this time they had climbed some 1600 vertical 
feet from ground level over an average gradient of 25 per cent), Hull 
recalled the two platoons to the eastern slopes and radioed for support- 
ing fire. 

This fire was not forthcoming. Company D held a line near the 
summit until about 2200 when Easy Company passed through to oc- 
cupy a small plateau about 150 yards below the crest for the night. 

Meanwhile, down in the valley, Litzenberg's "walking perimeter" 
completed a 1300-yard advance by 1630. Owing to the nature of the 
terrain, with the attendant 360-degree vulnerability, the regimental com- 
mander stipulated that the 7th Marines' column extend not less than 
4000 (the minimum distance which would allow for close-in artillery 
support) nor more than 6000 yards in length. This allowed sufficient 
depth for over- all protection, with no loss of mutual support among 
the three infantry battalions. 

Enemy resistance had flared up now and then in the course of the day, 
but Marine supporting arms so ruled the valley that no serious chal- 
lenge by the Chinese developed. VMF-312 flew 12 close support mis- 
sions in the Sudong area, and VMF(N)-513 assisted with several more. 
The whole precipitous skyline on either side of the regiment was 
blasted with 500-pound bombs, 20mm shells, and high-velocity rockets. 

By way of reply to the heavy shelling and bombing, Chinese mortars 
and at least one small artillery piece began to fire sporadically as the 
day wore on. A 120mm mortar round struck 1/7' s CP at 1700 and 
wounded three men. 

The Battle of Sudong 


CCF Counterattack at Sudong 

Although the unit commanders of the 7th Marines anticipated mote 
fighting with the new enemy, they probably did not suspect what the 
night held in store when the regiment dug in at dusk on 2 November. 
They did not know that the 371st Regiment, 124th CCF Division, was 
massed to the north and west, nor that the 370th Regiment occupied 
high ground east of the MSR in strength— both units within easy strik- 
ing distance of Litzenberg's perimeter. The 37 2d Regiment, in reserve, 
stood poised in its hidden encampment several miles to the rear. 11 

Leading elements of the 7th Marines deployed defensively less than 
a mile south of Sudong (see Map 8) . To the right of the MSR, Able 
Company's 3d, 2d, and 1st Platoons, in that order, formed a line which 
extended across Hill 532 and part way up a spur of massive Hill 727, 
then bent rearward sharply to refuse the east flank. Emplaced along 
the road in anti-mechanized defense was the company's 3. 5-inch rocket 
squad. The 60mm mortar section and company CP set up in the low 
ground behind the spur, but Captain Banks himself decided to spend the 
night in an OP with his rifle platoons. 

Lieutenant Colonel Davis of 1/7 deployed Charlie Company (-) 
across the MSR from Able, on the northeast slopes of Hill 698. 12 To 
the rear, headquarters and one platoon of Company B dug in on an 
arm of the same hill, while the other two platoons went into position on 
the lower reaches of Hill 727 behind Company A. One platoon of 
Charlie Company, Davis' CP and the battalion 81mm mortars were 
located in low ground behind Able Company and the elements of 
Baker on the right of the road. 

South of 1/7 lay Major Sawyer's 2d Battalion with Company D at the 
f°ot of Hill 698, E on its crest and slopes, and F spread along the steep 
feline of 727. Sawyer's CP and elements of the 7th Marines' Anti- 
tank and 4.2-inch Mortar Companies were situated in a shallow meadow 

v section, unless otherwise noted, is derived from: G-3 SAR, 18—19; 7thMax 

13, n. p.; 3/7 SAR, n. p.; 3/11 SAR, 3; IstMarDiv Plltt 9 & 10; Littcnberg 
nterv 27-30 Apr and 10 Jul 51; Parry Interv, 4 Apr 51; Holland-Theros-Connell interv, 
•rf-' Wllscm-Graeber interv, 20 Oct 55; Earney-Harris-Mooney interv, 20 Oct 55; Geer, 
SJ? *V# Breed, 228-235; Capt William J. Davis, "Nightmare Alley," Leatherneck 
~*&m&, MS.; Narrative of SSgt R. E. McDurmin, 23 Jul 56; Col R. G. Davis Com- 
Icf'w d ' ; W - Davis Comments, 15 Apr 56; Mai W. E. Shea Comments, 30 Apr 56; 

jS' Wi D. Sawyer Comments, n. d. 
unfi j £ i t0 2/7 ' s difficulties on Hill 698 Charlie Company was unable to move position 
to m As Davis has P° intetJ ouf < tnis was fortuitous because it allowed Charlie 

move into position unseen by the Chinese and was a major factor in trapping the 

""lese in the valley the next morning. R. G. Davis Comments, 3. 

104 The Chosin Reservoir Campaign 

along the road beneath the Fox Company positions. Several hundred 
yards to the rear, south of a sharp bend in the toad, Major Maurice E. 
Roach's 3d Battalion deployed in what was in effect a second perimeter 
protecting the regimental ttain, 3/11, and Litzenberg's CP on the val- 
ley floor. Tieing in at the MSR, Companies H and I occupied ridges on 
the left and right of the road respectively, while G(-) arched through 
the low ground as the southernmost element of the regiment. Colonel 
Litzenberg was concerned about the valley which joined the Sudong 
Valley below Oro-ri lest it contain Chinese. He had Major Roach make 
a helicopter reconnaissance during the afternoon. Roach sighted noth- 
ing. 13 

Except for die occasional thump of an incoming mortar round, night 
settled on the valley and the Marine perimeter with deceptive quiet. 
Deceptive, since at Sudong two CCF battalions were poised to smash at 
the 7 th Marines with a well-coordinated double envelopment. 

At 2300, Davis' 1st Battalion reported itself under attack from the 
right flank, the enemy apparently descending the higher slopes of Hill 
727. This announcement was somewhat premature, as the Marines of 
Company A were merely experiencing the infiltration and probing that 
precede almost every Communist assault. At 2400, 2/7 reported two 
enemy battalions on the left flank. 11 During the first hour of 3 Novem- 
ber, sobering messages were received from Litzenberg's northernmost 
units. What had begun at 2300 as a staccato of small-arms fire swelled 
in volume by imperceptible degrees until Hills 698 and 727 were en- 
gulfed in a ceaseless din. And by 0100 the 1st and 2d Battalions of the 
7th Marines bent under the weight of a full-scale attack on both flanks. 

Avoiding the obvious approach through the corridor leading south 
from Sudong, the commander of the 371st CCF Regiment had dis- 
patched a battalion along each of the ridgelines bordering the valley. 
Bursting flares and bugle calls signaled when the two assault units 
came abreast of the Marine positions on the lower reaches of Hills 727 
and 698. Then, treading swiftly and silently in their rubber sneakers, 
the Chinese infantrymen swept down obliquely and struck Able and 
Fox Companies on the east and Baker on the west. Charlie on the 
slopes of Hill 698 was undisturbed. Where the Chinese met resistance, 

11 LtCol Mi E. Roadi Comments, 7 May 56. 

" 7thMar msg to CG IstMm-Div, 072) 3 Nov 50. Since neither D nor F Companies 
was involved at this time, the information must have come from E. Capt Bey, however, 
doubts if either of the probing attacks received by E Company was made by more than 
2t> men. Capt R. T. Bey Comments, 24 Apr 5*. 


The Battle of Sudong 


they slugged it out at close range with grenades and submachine guns. 
Where they found gaps, they poured through and raced to the low 
ground. To the Marines, the specific CCF objectives were not readily 
apparent in those hectic hours before dawn, for the enemy seemed to 
be everywhere. 16 

Shortly after the battle was joined high on the hillsides, Marines at 
Able Company's CP heard the clanking sounds o£ a tracked vehicle on 
the MSR to the north. When the machine passed the rocket section at 
the roadblock without incident, they dropped their guards momentarily, 
believing it to be a friendly bulldozer. The big vehicle rumbled into the 
CP and stopped, one headlight glaring at exposed mortar crews and 
headquarters personnel. 

"Tank!" shouted Staff Sergeant Donald T. Jones, section chief of 
Able Company's 60rnm mortars. 

It was a Russian T-34, one of the five remaining to the 344th North 
Korean Tank Regiment, supporting the 124th CCF Division. The 
troops at the roadblock had been caught napping. 

A burst of machine-gun fire from the tank sent the lightly armed 
Marines scurrying for cover. The armored vehicle quickly withdrew to 
the road and drove farrher south, into 1 /7s' CP. After a short, inquisi- 
tive pause, it rumbled toward the 1st Battalion's 81mm mortar positions. 
The Russian 85 mm rifle flashed four times in the darkness, but the 
shells screamed harmlessly over the mortars and detonated in the high 
ground beyond. 

Rocket launchers of Charlie Company and the recoilless rifles of 
?th Marines Antitank Company opened up from positions around 
1/7 's headquarters. At least one 75mm round struck home, and the 
«lt of sandbags around the T-34's turret began to burn. The tank 
swung back onto the MSR and headed north. Approaching Able Com- 
pany's roadblock, through which it had entered the Marine position, 
<* took a hit from the 3,5-inch rocket section. In reply, one 85mm shell 
a t pistol range all but wiped out the Marine antitank crew. The enemy 
chicle, trailing flame and sparks, clanked around a bend in the road 
a nd disappeared. 

Mot long after this astounding foray, the fighting on Hills 698 and 
?2 7 spread down to the MSR. The 1st and 2d Platoons of Company A, 
pressed now from three directions and suffering heavy casualties, re- 

* X Corps PIR 44, annex 2; IstMarDiv PIR 10; 7thMar msg to CG IstMarDiv, 1530 
a Nov 50; Shea Comments, 30 Apr 51. 

tracted to the 3d Platoon positions at the tip of the spur. Some of the 
men were cut off and forced back on the Baker Company elements east 
of the MSR. Ultimately, one of the two Company B platoons in this 
area was driven down to the low ground, and the other forced to fall 
back. Later they counterattacked and recovered their foxholes. 

West of the MSR, the remainder of Company B fought off assaults 
on its left flank and rear by Chinese who had skirted around Charlie 
Company's advance positions. 10 Lieutenant Colonel Davis sent the bat- 
talion reserve, Lieutenant Graeber's 2d Platoon of Baker, to reinforce 
the hard pressed left platoon. Attempting to lead his men across the 
MSR , Graeber found the route effectively blocked by the enemy in the 
river bed. 

Descending now from both sides of the road, enemy infantrymen 
swarmed over the valley floor. They overran most of the 7th Marines 
4.2-inch Mortar Company and captured one of its tubes. They seriously 
threatened the 1st and 2d Battalion CPs and the AT Company in the 
same general idea. High on the slopes in 2/7's zone, Companies E and 
F were beset by small bands of infiltrators. And though these two 
companies held their ground, the Reds found their flanks, slipped be- 
hind them, and entrenched at the key road bend separating 2/7 from 
3/7 to the south. The principal Marine unit at the sharp curve in the 
MSR was Battery I, whose position in the low ground became increas- 
ingly precarious as the night wore on. 

Two Mamie Battalions Cut Off 

Dawn of 3 November revealed a confused and alarming situation in 
the valley south of Sudong. Enemy troops shared the low ground with 
Marine elements between the 1st and 2d Battalion CPs, and they had 
blown out a section of the MSR in this locale." The 2d Battalion's 
commander later remarked, "When daylight came, we found that we 
were in a dickens of a mess. The rifle companies were well up in the 
hills, and the Chinese were occupying the terrain between the CP and 
the companies." 18 

Between 2/7 and 3/7, a company of Reds had dug in on a finger of 
high ground overlooking the road bend and Battery I from the east. 

* ibid. 

" The demolition had little more than dramatic effect, however, since the Songchon 
river bed was negotiable to vehicles of all types. 
9 Sawyer Comments, 

The Battle of Sudong 


Scattered Chinese forces roamed Hills 698 and 727 almost at will. On 
the latter height, elements of the 371st CCF Regiment had been rein- 
forced by a battalion of the 370th, so that pressure against the right 
flank of 1 /7 and 2 /I continued long after daybreak. 10 

With his lead battalions thrown back on the defensive, Colonel Lit- 
zenberg relied on overwhelming superiority in supporting arms to tip 
the scales on 3 November and regain the initiative. While the regi- 
mental 4.2-inch mortars fired, howitzers of Batteries G and H thundered 
almost ceaselessly die whole night long from positions within 3/7' s 
perimeter. Battery I, after being extricated from the enemy dominated 
r °ad bend at 1100 with the help of a platoon of G Company, added 
its metal to the bombardment. In the course of the day, the 18 field 
pieces of the battalion fired a total of 1431 rounds in 49 missions. 20 

VMF-312 provided constant air cover after first light. Its planes not 
°nly scourged enemy assault troops left exposed on the ridges, but also 
searched out and attacked CCF artillery positions and vehicles. This 
squadron alone flew 18 close support missions on 3 November, the 
alternating flights being led by Major Daniel H. Davis, Captain Harry 
*?. C. Henneberger, Captain George E. McClane, and First Lieutenant 
Shelby M. Forrest. 21 VMF(N)-513 dispatched a flight of night fighters 
to Sudong at 0910 under Major Robert L. Cochran. After raking enemy 
hoop s with 1500 rounds from their 20mm cannon, Cochran and his 
three pilots unloaded three general purpose and fragmentation bombs 
along with 15 high-velocity rockets. 22 

As much supporting fire fell within the 7th Regiment's perimeter as 
°utside. Since the crack of dawn it had been the principal mission of 
the advance Marine elements to eject scores of Chinese troops, indi- 
viduals and small bands, who were scattered along the hillsides and 
v alley floor within the zones of the 1st and 2d Battalions. While ac- 
complishing this task, the Marines established a tactical principle for 
cotning weeks: that to nullify Chinese night tactics, regardless of large- 
scale penetrations and infiltration, defending units had only to main- 
tain position until daybreak. With observation restored, Marine fire- 
power invariably would melt down the Chinese mass to impotency. 

This was the case on 3 November, although the melting down process 

'* I Ai J. X Cotps PIR 44, annex 2; 7thMar msg to CG IstMarDiv, 0721 3 Nov 50; 
«hMar tel to G-3 IstMarDiv, 1315 3 Nov 50; and Geer, The New Breed, 235-236. 
Z S/fi SAR, 3; Maj W. R. Earney Comments, n. d. 
VMF-312 SAR, 12. 

ta, VMF(N)-513 SAR, 11. The others on this flight were apt Edwin Pcndry, IstLt 
barren J. Beyes, and IstLt William E. Jennings. 


The Cbosin Reservoir Campaign 

was a savage, all-day affair. With the help of air, artillery, and mor- 
tars, the 1st Battalion cleared the low ground by mid morning and re- 
stored its right flank later in the day. The Chinese in the valley were 
crushed, the main group being annihilated by the heavy machine guns 
of Weapons Company as they attempted to march northward along 
the railroad in column at daylight. Counted enemy dead in 1/7 's zone 
alone amounted to 662. 23 

The main effort in the 2d Battalion's zone was aimed at the CCF 
concentration on the spur of Hill 727 overlooking the bend in the 
MSR. Owing to this barrier, Litzenberg had to call for an airdrop of 
supplies to sustain his leading elements on 3 November. 2 ' 1 Major Sawyer 
ordered Company D, on the base of Hill 698 to the south of the road- 
block, to move up the valley, cross the river, and clean out the spur at 
Hill 727. Finding the low ground blocked by heavy fire, Captain Hull 
circled to the left along the incline of Hill 698, intending to come 
abreast of the Chinese strong point before striking at it across the 

Meanwhile, Captain Walter D. Phillips' Easy Company, perched on 
the side of Hill 698, struggled to secure the peak of that hill mass. A 
rush by First Lieutenant John Yancey's 2d Platoon at about 0S00 se- 
cured a small plateau about 50 yards below the crest against the oppo- 
sition of one Chinese soldier. First Lieutenant Robert T. Bey's 3d 
Platoon then passed through and frontally assaulted the peak only to 
be thrown back by what Bey calls "the most concentrated grenade bar- 
rage this writer has had the dubious distinction to witness," Following 
an air strike at about 1400 Easy Company secured the crest with its 
40 Chinese dead. 28 

With all of the rifle companies involved in fire fights or security 
missions, Litzenberg resorted to supporting arms and headquarters 
troops to knock out the roadblock. From his regimental CP he dis- 
patched First Lieutenant Earl R. Delong, Executive Officer of the AT 
Company, with a reserve 75mm recoil less rifle and a makeshift crew. 
Delong moved into position opposite the strong point at a range of 
500 yards, while air and artillery hammered the enemy positions. 37 

"Litzenberg interv, 27-30 Apt and 30 Jul 51, 27; 7thMar SAR, 13; R. G. Davis 
Comments, 7-9 ; Vorhies Comments. 
* 7thMar SAR, 13 ; Litzenberg interv, 27-30 Apr and 10 Jul 51. 
"Goggin interv; Hull Comments. 
" Bey Comments, 24 Apr 5(5. 

"7tliMar msg to CG 1st MarDiv, 2125 3 Nov 50; and Capt E. R, Delong interv, 
18 Oct 50. 

The Battle of Sitdong 


Simultaneously, the Division Reconnaissance Company ascended the 
high ground east of the MSR in the vicinity of Litzenberg's head- 
quarters, then advanced northward along the ridge to envelop the road- 
block. This unit, just returned from an active, overnight patrol to 
Huksu-ri, moved into a hillside position and took the rear of the 
Chinese under fire across an intervening gulley. 28 

Belongs 75 had begun firing high explosive and white phosphorus 
into the enemy's front; and Company D, after cleaning up the scat- 
tered resistance on the slopes of Hill 698, closed on the roadblock under 
cover of two air strikes and prepared to assault. The Chinese, obviously 
shaken by the pounding of supporting arms, had commenced a with- 
drawal into the hills east of the roadbend when Hull's men began their 
assault. From Recon Company's positions, Lieutenant Crossman called 
for air and artillery to catch the retreating Reds in the open. But the 
request was turned down because Dog Company troops were already 
filtering through the objective area. By 1810 the roadblock was elim- 
inated, although Dog Company had to withstand two counterattacks 
before its hold on the spur was secure. The Chinese had left behind 
28 dead, strewn among the boulders and recesses of a natural redoubt. 251 

The main enemy encroachments having been smashed, the 7th Ma- 
rines' MSR was again clear for traffic, save for long-range harassment 
by an occasional CCF rifleman hidden in the hills. At dusk, trucks 
streamed northward from the regimental CP to deliver supplies to the 
1st and 2d Battalions and to evacuate about 100 battle casualties from 
those units. The wounded were rushed to the Division Hospital and 
the 121st Army Evacuation Hospital in Hungnam. 30 

End of NKPA Tank Regiment 

The coming of darkness on 3 November marked the finish of the first 
phase. Litzenberg's perimeter remained essentially the same as on the 
previous day, the only changes being Company D's occupation of the 

"lstMarDiv SAR, EE (hereafter HqBn SAR), 10; HqBn Utlpt S, 2-3; Crossman- 
Puckett-Sharon interv, 20 Oct 55. 

"ibid., Goggin interv; Detong interv, 18 Oct 50; and 7thMar msg to CG IslMarDiv, 
2125 3 Nov 50; Hull Comments. 

" 7thMar SAR, appendix 4, 4; ADC lstMarDiv tel to G-3 lstMarDiv, 1320 3 Nov 50; 
and Delong interv, 18 Oct 50. Casualty figures could only be estimated in after action 
f e potts, since all 7th Marines' records were destroyed before the withdrawal from Yuc!am-ni 
ta early December 1950. Throughout the remainder of this volume, only those casualty 
figures for the Division as a whole can be reported with consistent accuracy. 


The Cbosin Reservoir Campaign 

high ground east of the road bend, Recon Company's assumption of 
local security at the regimental CP, and 3/11's tighter concentration 
within the zone of 3/7. What few light contacts occurred during die 
night were decided quickly by Marine artillery and mortars. 31 

Later intelligence evaluations proved that these contacts could have 
involved only CCF patrols or stragglers, for it was in this same period 
that the 370th and 371st CCF Regiments withdrew some three miles 
from Sudong to a defense line established by elements of the 372d 
Regiment north of Chinhung-ni. The two assault units had paid a 
high price for failure during the 2-4 November fighting. The 371st 
Regiment lost the equivalent of five companies out of its 1st and 3d 
Battalions, with the total dead estimated at 793- And the 3d Battalion, 
370 th Regiment, was reduced by the destruction of two companies. 83 

It was a wobbly 124th CCF Division, then, that dug in with heavy 
machine guns and mortars on two massive hills, 987 and 891, flanking 
the MSR about two miles north of Chinhung-ni. The depleted 344 th 
nkpa Tank Regiment could not avail itself of such defensible terrain, 
for until Marine engineers widened the tortuous cliff road through 
FunchiEin Pass it would not accommodate armor. 33 

Apparently the Chinese Communists had left their North Korean 
comrades of the 344th to fend for themselves. The nkpa unit had 
already dwindled considerably from its original organization of three 
armored and three infantry companies, On 2 November it comprised 
only five T-34s and their crews. One of these machines, after being 
damaged during the single-handed raid on the 7th Marines* perimeter 
that night, was abandoned the next day. The NKPA crews put the 
remaining four vehicles into camouflaged positions next to the MSR at 
Chinhung-ni, where they waited resignedly at a tactical dead-end. 34 

Colonel Litzenberg was aware of the probability of further resistance 
along the road, since on 3 November Marine air had reported approxi- 
mately 300 enemy trucks — in groups of 15 or 20 — on the move south 
of the Chosin Reservoir. 35 At dawn of 4 November, after a night of 
relative calm around the old perimeter, he ordered his subordinates to 
conduct vigorous patrolling preparatory to continuing the advance. 38 

31 7thMar SAR, 14; 3/11 SAR, 3; Goggin inierv; HqBn URpi 8, 2-3; 7th Mar msgs to 
CG IstMarDiv, 080 i and 1508 i Nov 50. 
33 X Corps PIR 44, annex 2; IstMarDiv PIRi 11 and 12, end 1; 7thMar SAR, a. p. 
* IstMarDiv SAR, annex NN (hereafter IstEngrBn SAR), 8; and 7thMar SAR, n. p, 
"G-2 SAR, 3<J; and 7thMar SAR, n. p. 
" IstMarDiv PIR 10. 

» CO 7thMar msg to CG IstMarDiv, 1508 A Nov 50. 


The Chosin Reservoir Campaign 

Troops of 1/7 moved forward in the early light and scouted die 
valley as far north as the edge of Sudong. They met no opposition and 
returned to the perimeter. Litzenberg then formed the 7th Marines in 
column, with the Reconnaissance Company in the lead, followed by 
1/7 and 3/7 in that order. He left the 2d Battalion in position on Hills 
698 and 727 to protect die regimental flanks. 37 

Recon Company moved out in jeeps at 0800, First Lieutenant Ernest 
C Hargett's 1st Platoon in the point. Entering Sudong a short time 
later, the vanguard rounded a bend in the middle of town and surprised 
a group of CCF soldiers. In a 30-minute fight, Hargett's men killed 
three and captured about 20. The 2d and 3d Platoons of the Recon- 
naissance Company meanwhile inspected the high ground above Sudong 
without opposition. 

Lieutenant Crossman reorganized his company in column on the road 
and set out for Chinhung-ni with Second Lieutenant Donald W. Shar- 
on's 2d Platoon in the lead. About the same time, 1000, the 1st Battalion 
moved out of the 7 th Marines' perimeter south of Sudong and traced 
Crossman's route through die low ground. 

At Chinhung-ni the highway runs along the east side of the river 
while the railroad traces the west side. The narrow-gauge track enters 
the village over a bridge spanning a branch stream. Just beyond is 
Samgo station, which served as a railhead for the cable-car system of 
Funchilin Pass. As the Reconnaissance Company approached Chinhung- 
ni on 4 November, a small group of Chinese soldiers milled around the 
train cars and buildings of Samgo Station. They probably had some 
tactical connection with the four T-34 tanks camouflaged opposite 
them across the river and road; but the two forces seemed oblivious not 
only of each other but also of the Marines bearing down on them. 

Lieutenant Sharon's platoon advanced rapidly from Sudong at 1400, 
followed closely by the rest of the Reconnaissance Company and a 
section of 75mm recoilless rifles. About 2000 yards south of Chin- 
hung-ni they halted on sighting fresh tank tracks but quickly moved 
out again on orders of Lieutenant Colonel Davis. At the highway en- 
trance to Chinhang-ni, Sharon's troops unknowingly passed the first 
T-34, hidden on die right of the road. Coming abreast of the second 

"The advance to Chinhung-ni and the engagement with enemy tanks is derived from: 
7thMar SAR, 13; Crossman-Puekett-Sharon interv, 20 Oct 55; Geer, The New Breed, 
236-237; and P. G. Martin Itr to HistBr G-3 HQMC, 21 Oct 55; CO 7thMac msg to 
CG IstMarDiv, 0045, 5 Nov 50; R. G. Davis Comments, 13-15; Maj R. B. Crossman 
Comments, n, d. ; Shea Comments, 30 Apr 56. 

The Battle of Sudong 


Communist tank, which also remained undetected for the moment, the 
Marines spotted the Chinese soldiers across the river at Samgo Station 
and opened fire. 

The CCF infantrymen scattered under the hail of small-arms fire 
and many of them were cut down. This was fortunate for Company C 
of 1/7, which was marching along die railroad tracks and just then 
nearing the bridge south of the station, where it could have been taken 
under enfilade fire by the enemy soldiers and tanks. 

It was during the exchange with the Chinese that Sharon and his 
men spotted the second North Korean tank under a pile of brush on the 
right of the road. The platoon leader, accompanied by Staff Sergeant 
Richard B. Twohey and Corporal Joseph E. McDermott, climbed upon 
the dormant vehicle. Suddenly the periscope began to revolve. McDer- 
mott smashed the glass and Twohey dropped in a grenade. With 
Sharon they jumped to the ground just as the grenade exploded inside 
the machine. 

The tank engine roared and the vehicle lurched toward the three 
Marines. Twohey jumped on it again and dropped another grenade 
down the periscope. After the dull thump of the second explosion, the 
T-34 stopped dead and began smoking. 

By this time Staff Sergeant William L. Vick's 75mm recoilless gun 
section and 3.5-inch rocket crews of Company C had moved up. To- 
gether they gave the coup de grace to the damaged T-3-1 Simultane- 
ously, Sharon's men saw a thatched hut farther down the road disinte- 
grate as tank number three emerged, its 85mm rifle swinging menac- 
ingly toward the valley crowded with Marines and vehicles. First 
Lieutenant Raymond J. Elledge fired his 75s from their carts, and 
Company C's rocket launchers opened up. The T-34 took hits but 
rumbled on. Seconds earlier, First Lieutenant Dan C. Holland, For- 
ward Air Controller for 1/7, had radioed overhead Corsairs for as- 
sistance. One of the gull-winged planes plummetted out of formation 
and unleashed a pair of five-inch rockets. They were direct hits. The 
T-34 blew up and died on the road. 38 

Sharon and his men moved forward cautiously. While passing the 
blazing hulk, they spotted enemy tank Number Four, camouflaged 
against a hillside just ahead. At almost the same moment, Marines 
passing Chinhung-ni stumbled upon docile tank Number One in the 


The Cbosin Reservoir Campaign 

midst of their formation, Rccoilless rifles and rocket launchers blasted 
the machine, and its crew climbed out and surrendered. Sharon then 
led the antitank crews through the river bed toward the fourth T-34. 
The Communist tankmen, entrenched on the slope behind their empty 
vehicle, gave up without a fight. The tank itself was knocked out by 
3.5-inch rockets and 75mm shells; and the 344th NKPA Tank Regiment 
ceased to exist. 

The Fight for How Hill 

After the destruction of enemy armor, Colonel Litzenberg began de- 
ploying die 7th Marines in perimeter around the valley junction at 
Chinhung-ni. The advance had netted about 6000 yards by midafter- 
noon, and the remaining daylight was needed to bring all elements 
forward and consolidate the newly won ground. 59 

Aware that the Chinese were at the top of Funchilin Pass but not that 
he was directly under their guns, the regimental commander at 1600 
ordered Reconnaissance Company to patrol some 2000 yards into Fun- 
chilin Pass and outpost the southern tip of Hill 891. The high ground 
selected for the outpost coincided with the eastern half of the Chinese 
forward line, and it would later be remembered as "How Hill" in 
honor of Company H of 3/7. 40 

As 1 p dug in on the heights flanking Chinhung-ni, Recon Company, 
with Second Lieutenant Charles R. Puckett's 3d Platoon leading, ad- 
vanced in motorized column about a mile into the pass. At this point, 
Hill 987 looms up on the west and the highway veers sharply to the 
east for approximately 1000 yards. After a hairpin turn, the road 
climbs on a parallel line almost to its starting point, then resumes its 
northerly course, clinging to the rocky wall of Hill 891 which rises 
abruptly from the chasm that separates it from Hill 987. 

Puckett's platoon had approached the road bend warily, for a sizeable 
enemy group had been spotted earlier near the base of Hill 987 across 
the gorge. At 1630 the first two jeeps of the column eased around the 
curve and immediately came under fire from Hill 987 to the left, 891 
to the front, and from a CCF patrol to the right, on the road itself. 41 

For 45 minutes Puckett and his men were pinned to the road and hill- 

!> 7thMar SAR, 13; and IstMarDiv FOR 116. 

* 7thMar SAR, a. p.; and Crossman-Fuckett-Sharoti interv, 20 Oct 55; Dowsett Com- 
ments, 29 May 56. 
*'HqBn VRpt 8, 5; and Crossman-Puckett-Sharon interv, 20 Oct 55. 


The Chosin Reset voir Campaign 

side, and only darkness and a strike by Marine air finally enabled the 
whole column to withdraw to the 7th Marines' lines. The clash cost 
Recon two killed and five wounded, and heavy machine-gun fire had 
destroyed the two lead jeeps. 42 

During the relatively quiet night of 4-5 November, Colonel Litzen- 
berg issued his order for the next day's advance. The 1st Battalion was 
to hold the flanks at Chinhung-ni while 3/7, followed at a disrance of 
500-1000 yards by 2/7, passed through and attacked into Funchilin 
Pass. Major Parry's 3/1 1 and the 4.2 Mortar Company were to support 
the infantry by high-angle fire from positions south of Sudong. 43 Re- 
sistance could be expected, for even as the 7th Marines peacefully sat 
out die hours of darkness, the night fighters of VMF(N)-513 were 
bombing and strafing enemy convoys around the southern tip of the 
Chosin Reservoir. 44 

At 0700 Lieutenant Hargett's 1st Platoon of Recon Company de- 
parted Cbinhung-ni along the MSR to patrol on the right flank. Reach- 
ing the hairpin curve, the platoon was pinned down by enemy fire at 
exactly the same place where Puckett's unit had come to grief. VMF- 
312 and 3/11 promptly went into action, and Hargett ultimately with- 
drew his patrol under the shield of their supporting fire. Marine casual- 
ties were four wounded. 15 

Major Roach's 3d Battalion moved out for the attack at 0800, passing 
through the high-gtound positions of 1/7 on either side of Chinhung-ni. 
Company I advanced toward Hill 987 and G toward 891 (see Map 10) . 
Both units were hit hard by small-arms and machine-gun fire as they 
came abreast of the road bend; and for the remainder of the day, the 
"advance was negligible." 48 

From 1000 onward, the second phase of the battle roared to a climax 

a ibid. 

"7thMar SAR, 15; 3/11 SAR, 3. 
"VMF(N)-5tJ SAR, 12. 

"HqBn SAR, 12; HqBn URpt 9, 2; Crossman-Fuekett-Sharon interv, 20 Oct 55; and 
Geer, The New Breed, 237-238; Litaenberg Comments, 1? Jut 56. This was the last 
employment of Recon by the 7th Marines. On 7 November it was detached and ordered 
back to Majon-dong to patro! the road to Huksu-ri and the division's left flank. 

" The fight for Hills 891 and 987 is derived from 7thMar SAR, 13-14; 3/7 SAR, n. p.; 
3/11 SAR, 3; VMF-312 SAR, 9; VMF(N)-513 SAR, 13; IstMarDiv OpnO 19-50, 
5 Nov 50; Earney-Harris-Mooney interv, 20 Oct 55; W. J. Davis interv, 18 Oct 551 
IstMarDiv PIRs 12 & 13; Aide-de-Camp, CG IstMarDiv tel to G-2 IstMarDiv, 1130 
5 Nov 50; 7thMar msgs to CG IstMarDiv, 1035, 1200, 1330, 1900, 2130, and 2215 
5 Nov 50, and 1145, 1245, 14 10, 1425, 2055, and 2245 6 Nov 50; 7thMar ISUM 14! 
IstMarDiv POR 122; and Geer, The New Breed, 237-240; Capt H. H. Harris Com- 
ments, n. d.; Earney Comments, 2-8; Capt M. P. Newton, "The Attack on 'How' Hill," 
(MS) ; Roach Comments. 7 May 56. 

The Battle of Sudong 


as a duel between supporting arms. In 26 missions during 5 November, 
the batteries of 3/11 threw 9-43 shells into the enemy positions. The 
Chinese answered with counterbattery fire from their 122mm mortars, 
but toward the end of the day these weapons were silenced by Marine 
howitzer barrages. A forward observer with Company G reported an 
enemy ammunition dump destroyed. This information was later verified 
by a POW who mentioned the following additional losses in CCF 
mortars: 10 crewmen killed and 17 wounded, one mortar destroyed, two 
mortars put out of action, and the dispersal of "most of the remaining 

VMF-312 flew 37 sorties in 90 hours of close support combat on the 
5th. Between Chinhung-ni and the Chosin Reservoir, 21 enemy trucks 
were destroyed. Pilots reported that "the surrounding ridges were filled 
with enemy troops" and that their strikes against these Chinese were 
"extremely effective." Led by Major Cochran and Captain Otis W. S, 
Corman, nights from VMF(N)-513 blasted troops, buildings, supply 
vehicles, and gun emplacements scattered from Koto-ri at the top of 
Funchilin Pass to Hagaru at the reservoir. General Smith, during a 
helicopter visit to Litzenberg's CP, remarked that a "considerable num- 
ber of planes . . . really worked the place over." 47 

On the ground, the fight ended at dusk with the Chinese retaining 
their firm grip on these well camouflaged positions studding Hills 891 
and 987 despite heavy losses.* 8 Marine casualties were light, for it was 
the tortuous terrain in conjunction with enemy bullets, not enemy fire 
alone, that obstructed the attackers. Since General Smith earlier in the 
day had named Koto-ri as the 7th Marines' immediate objective, Colonel 
Litzenberg ordered the 3d Battalion to resume the advance at 0800 the 
next morning. 

The night of 5-6 November witnessed only minor contacts around 
the regimental perimeter. Some 200 Korean laborers accounted for most 
of the activity during darkness as they carried supplies to forward 
Marine positions and evacuated casualties to the rear. 

Major Roach's plan for 6 November called for How Company, sup- 
ported by the fire of George, to envelop the southeast slope of Hill 
891 while Item continued its attack on Hill 987. At about 0800 First 

fl Smith, Chronicle, 73- 

* One Chinese took all the pounding from supporting arms that he could, then climbed 
out of his bunker and walked into G Gimpany's lines to surrender. On interrogation 
he pinpointed his regiment: one battalion on Hilt 987, one on Hill 891, and the reserve 
battalion in the saddle between 987 and 1304. Roach Comments, 7 May 56, 


The Chos'm Reservoir Campaign 

Lieutenant Howard H. Harris led How Company out of its reserve 
position. It took him until nearly 1500 to traverse the rugged landscape 
and get into position. Meanwhile, Item Company under First Lieu- 
tenant Wiiliam E, Johnson had beaten off one counterattack and edged 
about 300 yards closer to Hill 987, with its most effective opposition 
coming from bunkers on a spur overlooking the MSR. 

Captain Thomas E. Cooney had been wounded twice the previous 
day while leading Company G against the trenches and foxholes on 
the southern tip of Hill 891. Except for a feint by one platoon along 
the MSR into the hairpin turn, his company spent the day in a long- 
range fight with the Chinese defenders. 

Lieutenant Harris led his men over the high ground behind G into 
positions to the east. Cooney's experience showed that the only possible 
approach to Hill 891 was to flank it from the southeast. Although the 
fresh company arrived sometime after 1400, its attack was held up 
until about 1600 to await air. Following a strike by two Corsairs, the 
howitzers of 3/11 and the regimental 4.2 mortars began pounding the 
Chinese positions. 

How Company jumped off at about 1615. Two assault platoons, led 
by Second Lieutenants Robert D. Reem and Minard P. Newton, des- 
cended into the intervening gulley at the tip of the hairpin curve. 
During a quick reorganization in the low ground, machine guns were 
posted to cover the ascent. Then the platoons started up towards the 
enemy-held summit through companion draws, Harris accompanying 
Newton's outfit on the left. 

The powdery soil of the steep slope made climbing difficult and 
exhausting. About a hundred yards up, Newton's platoon began re- 
ceiving light fire, followed a few yards farther by a hail of grenades 
and machine gun slugs. The Marines inched forward and were stopped 
by the Chinese fire. On the right, meanwhile, Reed climbed against no 
opposition, so it appeared that the envelopment was working. Unex- 
pectedly, the two draws converged near the top of the hill, with the 
result that the platoons met. 

Lieutenant Harris revised his plans by directing Newton, with his 
left squad supporting by BAR fire, to lead Reem to the top of the hill. 
Once there, Newton was to swing right and Reem left to envelop the 
Chinese positions. Newton worked a squad up onto a nose extending 
out from the summit. The Chinese replied with a renewed barrage of 
grenades and counterattacked Newton's left. Sergeant Charlie Foster, 

The Battle of Stdong 


seeing apparent victory turning into defeat, lunged forward to break up 
the attack. He reached the top and died but the men behind him 
repulsed the Reds. 

During the close fighting on the left, Lieutenant Reem had gathered 
his squad leaders for instructions preparatory to the final assault on 
the right. An enemy grenade fell into the midst of the group, and 
Reem was killed as he smothered the explosion with his body. Staff 
Sergeant Anthony J. Ricardi took over the platoon. 

At about 1800 Harris radioed Roach that his troops were exhausted. 
Although it was already dusk, he was bringing up his reserve platoon, 
he said, for the Chinese still held die crest in strength. Company H 
had taken only eight casualties, but ammunition was low and the ap- 
proaching darkness prevented the dispatching of more fresh troops. The 
battalion commander relayed the report to Colonel Litzenberg, who 
immediately ordered the company to disengage and withdraw. The 
fighting descent under cover of a 4.2 mortar and artillery bombardment 
brought Company H back within the lines of 3/7 by 2000 with its six 
wounded and the body of Lieutenant Reem. 

Disappearance of CCF Remnants 

Darkness on the night of 6 November descended like a cloak over the 
124th CCF Division. In the morning the Chinese had vanished. The 
3d Battalion, 7th Marines, encountered no opposition whatever as it 
occupied the southern tips of Hills 891 and 987.*° 

The mysterious disappearance of this unit, following the equally 
strange withdrawal of the Chinese Reds who made the first CCF contacts 
in the EUSAK zone, aroused no end of speculation. Officers of the 7th 
Marines believed that enemy losses had been heavy enough for a dis- 
abling effect. This opinion was confirmed the following year when a 
Marine Corps Board visited Korea for a special analytical study of 
Marine operations of 1950, based on all Army and Marine records 
available at that time as well as interviews and interrogations. The 
Board concluded that "the 124th CCF Division was estimated to have 
been rendered militarily noneffective. " E0 

" 7thMar SAR, 14. 

"Marine Corps Board Study (hereafter MCB Study), II-C-16*. CCP Army Histories, 
31, states that the 124th was in action in west central Korea by the middle of November. 


The Chasm Reservoir Campaign 

Following the enemy's disappearance on the night of 6-7 November, 
the 7th Marines occupied the southern reaches of Hills 891 and 987 
while reconnoitering to the top of 891. The rest of the day and all 
the next was devoted to consolidating positions along the MSR and 
sending out patrols in a vain search for the vanished 124th CCF Divi- 
sion. 51 

On 8 November, General Almond visited the 7th Marines. Upon 
hearing of the valor of Captain Cooney at "How Hill," he awarded 
that officer the Silver Star medal on the spot. There being neither pen- 
dant nor citation available, the Corps Commander pinned a slip of 
paper to Cooney 's jacket in the brief ceremony. Scrawled on the frag- 
ment was the inscription, "Silver Star Medal for Gallantry in Action- 
Almond." 62 

While the 7th Marines advanced astride the MSR, a volunteer patrol 
of fifteen men, led by First Lieutenant Willi am F. Goggin of 2/7, traced 
a lonely, circuitous route in the mountains to the west. Having left 
Chinhung-ni at 1200 on 8 November, the scouting party covered some 
25 miles through perpendicular wilds during the following 26 hours. 
This journey brought it to the Chosin Reservoir plateau at a point just 
southwest of Koto-ri. 

Lieutenant Goggin, his slight wound the only scar of the patrol's 
single clash with Chinese, radioed Colonel Litzenberg that Koto-ri was 
cleat of enemy. He then led his party southward, and in the evening 
of the 9th, returned through the lines of 3/7. 63 

The Marines had been told that big game animals were hunted before 
the war in the mountains of northeast Korea. But not until the other- 
wise calm night of 9-10 November did a four-legged enemy invade 
tlie positions of RCT-7. Near the cable-car trestle, midway through 
Funchilin Pass, an unfriendly bear, no doubt a Russian bear, paid a 
nocturnal visit to the 1st Platoon of George Company. An unnamed 
Marine PFC, awakened in his sleeping bag, swore afterwards that the 
animal was wearing a hammer and sickle emblem. However this may 
be, the intruder was routed by his startled yell and disappeared into 
the night.** 

" 7thMar SAR, U; 3/1 SAR, n. p.; Roach Comments, 7 May 56. 
"Earney-Harris-Mooney interv, 20 Oct 55; CG's Diary in X Corps WD, 8 Nov 50; 
Roach Comments, 7 May 56. 

u 7tbMar SAR, 13-14; Geer, The New Breed, 243-247; Goggin interv. 
M Earney-Harris-Mooney interv, 20 Oct 55. 

The Battle of Sudong 


Koto-ri Occupied by jth Marines 

At 0830 on 10 November— the Marine Corps Birthday— the 1st Bat- 
talion passed through the 3d and emerged from Funchilin Pass onto 
the open plateau. Koto-ri (designated as Objective One) was occupied 
without opposition an hour and a half later. Litzenbcrg halted his 
column and drew up a perimeter around the mountain village. 

Upon reaching the Koto-ri plateau the 7th Marines was first to meet 
a new enemy who would take a heavier toll in casualties than the 
Chinese. This was General Winter, who has won many a historic cam- 
paign. When the first cold blasts struck, "our men were not condi- 
tioned for it," commented Litzenberg, "The doctors reported numerous 
cases where the men came down to the sickbay suffering from what 
appeared to be shock. Some of them would come in crying; some of 
them were extremely nervous; and the doctors said it was simply the 
sudden shock of the terrific cold when they were not ready for it." 66 

The Marines recovered quickly after "thawing out," and platoon 
warming tents, heated by camp stoves burning fuel oil, were set up at 
Koto-ri. Buckets of steaming water were provided for the warming 
of "C" rations. 

Hot weather, however uncomfortable it may be, is fighting weather as 
compared to subzero cold which seems to numb the spirit as well as 
flesh. Cold weather clothing is a handicap to movement and the use 
of firearms; and some weapons, particularly the carbine, are not de- 
pendable at low temperatures. It was probably as well for morale that 
the Marines at Koto-ri could not foresee that this was only the begin- 
ning of a prolonged operation in sub-zero weather without a parallel 
in the nation's history. 60 

Until 13 November, when the 7 th Marines advanced toward Hagaru, 
patrols from Koto-ri repeatedly sighted bands of Chinese in the distance. 
Except for a fight on 11 November in which C Company claimed to 
have inflicted 40 casualties on the enemy and lost four killed and four 
wounded, there was little action. With a little pressure on the ground 
or from the air, the enemy vanished, and thus the uneasy calm con- 
tinued. 67 

"Litzenberg interv, 27-30 Apr and 10 Jul 51, 45. 

'"Marshall. CCP in the Attack. See also FECOM, Terrain Study No. 6, XIX-8; 
R. G. Davis Comments; Dowsett Comments, 29 May 56; Cdr J. C. Craven, USN, Com- 
tnents, n. d. 

" 7th Mar SAR, 15-16; CO 7thMar msg to CG IstMarDiv, 1400 10 Nov 50; Litonberg 
Comments, 19 Jul 56. 

The Battle of Sudan g 

While the 7th Regiment had been fighting, marching, and climbing 
toward the Chosin Reservoir in early November, the 5 th Marines peace- 
fully combed the approaches to the Fusen Reservoir to the east. After 
detaching 1/5 to Division control on 4 November and stationing 3/5 
near Oro-ri, Lieutenant Colonel Murray sent the 2d Battalion into the 
Sinhung Valley to relieve the 18th ROK Regiment. The relief took 
place at 1145 on the 4th, and Lieutenant Colonel Harold S. Roise 
deployed 2/5 around a valley junction five miles north and 15 miles 
east of the then embattled 7 th Marines. 68 

Roise's mission was twofold: to block the Sinhung corridor while 
determining the strength and disposition of the enemy, if any; and to 
check certain northerly routes shown on maps as possibly leading to 
either the Fusen or Chosin Reservoirs, or both. Reconnaissance patrols 
in squad strength and combat patrols of reinforced platoons and com- 
pany size fanned out in a broad arc during 5-9 November. They deter- 
mined that no usable route led to either reservoir from the south, but 
that the highway continuing northeast from the town of Sinhung, lead- 
ing to the 7th Infantry Division's zone and the Manchurian border, 
would carry military traffic. From 7 November, Roise's troops made 
daily contact with Army patrols coming down the highway, but no 
units tried to penetrate the apparent screen of enemy defenses close to 
the Fusen Reservoir. 69 

Major Merlin R. Olson, 1/5's Executive Officer, led Companies A 
and B on 7 November in a reconnaissance in force to Huksu-ri, that 
annoying road junction west of Oro-ri. On the 8th Olson's force had a 
running fight with North Koreans before being recalled while still 
short of his objective. Olson's recall resulted from reports of 2000 
Nordi Koreans moving towards the MSR. C0 

On 8 November, Company D (Reinf ) made an overnight trek deep 
into a branch valley northwest of Sinhung, reaching a point about 10 
miles due east of Koto-ri. One CCF soldier was captured while asleep 
in a house. He said he belonged to the 126th Division and that Red 

Korea. 61 

"2/5 SAR, 10; CG IstMsfDiv msgs to CO 5thMar, 1605 and 2202 3 Nov 50; CG X 
Corps rnsg X 11939, 3 Nov 50; CO 5thMar msg to 2/5, 1/11, A/Engr, ATCo, 4.2" MO), 
2100 3 Nov 50; 2/5 HO, Nov 50, 2. 

H 2/5 SAR 10 

*CO 1/5 tel to G-3 IstMarDiv, 1820 8 Nov 50; "Special Reconnaissance of the 1st 
Bo 5thMar, 7-9 Nov 50," 10 Nov 50. 
" 2/5 SAR, 10, 32. 


The Cbosin Reservoir Campaign 

On 9 November, Colonel Murray received orders to concentrate his 
regiment along the MSR leading to the Cbosin Reservoir. During tbe 
next two days be deployed tbe 1st and 3d Battalions at Majon-dong and 
Chinhung-ni respectively, The ambush of a Charlie Company patrol 
on the 10th delayed tbe departure of 1/5 from the Chigyong area. The 
patrol had to be rescued by a battalion attack the next day before the 
force could move to Majon-dong. 62 On the 13th while operating out 
of Majon-dong a 1/5 patrol ran into 50-150 enemy who inflicted 7 KIA 
and 3 WIA before withdrawing. 03 

The 2d Battalion moved out of the Sinhung Valley on 13 and 14 
November to relieve the 7 th Marines of the responsibility for defending 
Koto-ri and thus free Colonel Litzenberg's regiment for the advance to 
Hagaru and the north. Lieutenant Colonel Roise's battalion had com- 
pleted its mission without firing more than a few shots and with a 
total prisoner bag of 12 North Koreans and one Chinese. 04 

Although the new enemy had seemingly evaporated from the path 
of the 1st Marine Division, there was good reason to believe that he 
was not forsaking his aggressive designs in North Korea. For in addi- 
tion to the ominous but questionable predictions of Chinese POWs, eye- 
witness accounts of pilots of VMF(N)-542 provided G-2 officers with 
information of the gravest portent in early November. The Marine air- 
men made nightly strikes from the 1st to the 9th against Sinuiju at the 
mouth of the Yalu, and they repeatedly reported a steady stream of 
trucks moving into northwest Korea from Antung, Manchuria. Time 
after time they blasted Sinuiju with bombs, rockets, and 20mm shells, 
and though parts of the city were continuously aflame, it still seethed 
with activity. They described southward bound traffic as "heavy," "very 
heavy," and even "tremendous," and at least one convoy was reported 
to be "gigantic." 65 

" 1/5 msg to SthMar, 1956 10 Nov 50; t/5 HD, Nop 50, 5; 5lhMar URpt 4. 
* SthMar URpt 4; 1/5 HD, Nov 50, 6. 
" SthMar SAR, 12 ; SthMar URpt 4. 

" lstMAW SAR, annex K, appendix I (hereafter VMF(N)-542 SAR), 1-8. 


Advance To The Chosin Reservoir 

Attacks on Woman-Hun gnam MSR — Appraisals of the New 
Enemy — The Turning Point of 15 November — Changes in X 
Corps Mission — Marine Preparations for Trouble — Supplies 
Trucked to Hagaru— -Confidence of UN Command — Marine 
Concentration on MSR 

ON 4 November, while RCT-7 was at the height of its fight with 
the Chinese, the Division CP displaced from Wonsan to Hung- 
nam. General Craig, the ADC, who inspected the area on the 2d, 
recommended the abandoned Engineering College on the western out- 
skirts as the best location. During his visit he was shown a knoll outside 
the city where the bodies of some 200 Korean civilians were laid out in a 
perfect row. All had been victims of the retreating nkpa forces. 1 

A location in Hamhung would have been preferred, but available sites 
were already taken by X Corps. General Smith flew to Hungnam by 
helicopter and opened the new CP at 1100 on the morning of the 4th. 
That evening a train carrying 160 officers and men of Headquarters 
Battalion and the Division staff arrived at 2130 from Wonsan. En 
route it had been fired on by guerrillas but no casualties resulted. 2 

A perimeter defense, consisting of two outposts and eight machine- 
gun positions, was set up to command all likely approaches to the new 
CP. Defensive wiring and trip flares were installed, with the gun posi- 
tions and outposts being connected by telephone. 

During these proceedings everyone was blissfully unaware of the 
existence of 250 tons of nkpa high explosive, stored only 600 yards 
from the CP in three connecting caves. Undiscovered for a week, this 

1 LtGen E. A. Craig, Itr, 20 Feb 56. 

'HqBn SAR, 10-11; Smith, Notes, 313-514; CG IstMarDiv msg to Subordinate 
Units, 2200 3 Nov 50; MajGen E, W. Snedeker Comments, 4 May 56. 


The Cbosin Reservoir Campaign 

enemy cache was believed capable of demolishing the command post. A 
16-man security detachment was placed on guard until the explosive 
could be removed and detonated. 3 

Attacks on Woman-Hun gnam MSR 

Protection of the Wonsan-Hungnam MSR took on added importance 
as the 1st Marine Division speeded up its move to the north. This 
responsibility, it may be recalled, was shared by Division and Corps on 
3 November in accordance with a decision by General Almond. The 
1st Marines and elements of the 1st Tank Battalion maintained security 
from Wonsan 15 miles northward to Munchon, while the 1st Battalion 
of the 5th Marines was responsible from Hamhung southward to Chig- 
yong. This left the 54-mile stretch between Chigyong and Munchon 
without any protection except the patrols of the Korean CIC agents 
and the Special Operations Company, USA, both under Corps control. 

On 4 November this company reported that large numbers of North 
Koreans were moving into the area to the west. That same afternoon 
Corps notified Division that a group of mounted guerrillas had fired 
on railway police in the yards at Kowon, 15 miles north of Munchon.* 

On 6 November, immediately after landing at Wonsan, the 65 th RCT 
of the 3d Infantry Division (less one battalion, placed temporarily 
under 1st Marine Division control for the Majon-ni operation) was ' 
ordered by Corps to relieve elements of the 96th Field Artillery Battal- 
ion, USA, which had been recently sent to Yonghung. The Army RCT 
was assigned a mission of protecting the Yonghung-Kowon area and 
patrolling to the west (see map on Page 122) , 5 

The WonsamHamhung rail line took on special importance after the 
announcement that water transportation would be delayed until enemy 
mines were cleared from the harbor at Hungnam. This made it neces- 
sary for the 1st Marine Division to send daily supply trains from Won- 
san, The first two completed the run without incident, but after de- 
parting Wonsan at dusk on the 6th the third train was halted at Kowon 
by the destruction of rails ahead. North Korean guerrillas attacked 

•HqBn SAR, 10-U; Smith, Now, 513-514. Some explosive, too unstable to be 
moved, was left in the caves. Gen O. P. Smith Itr, 15 Apt 56. 

'Smith, Notes, 472-473; G-3 SAR, 21. The previous day an A/Tks patrol had killed 
an estimated 150 NKs in a short lire-fight west of Munchon. IstTkBn, SAR, 12. 

"CG X Corps msg X 12075, 5 Nov 50; Dolcater, 3d Infairj Division in Korea, 69; 
Smith, Notes, 473. 

• ComNavFE msg to CinCFE, 0010 12 Nov 50. 

Advance to the Chosht 


the train, guarded by a lieutenant and 38 men from Company C of the 
1st Amphibian Tractor Battalion. 7 

The detachment was taken by surprise in the darkness by foes firing 
from both sides of the track. When the Marines attempted to reverse 
the train, the enemy wounded the engineer and put a hole in the boile'r 
with grenades. In the darkness the guard became separated into two 
groups, the smaller of which was surrounded in a car. The guerrillas 
fired through the wooden sides, forcing the Marines to the floor, and 
threw grenades through the windows until all ten men were killed or 
wounded, only two of them surviving. 

The remaining 29 men of the guard made a stand on an embankment 
about 200 yards from the track. Six Marines were wounded in the 
ensuing fire fight. The train guard broke off the action and withdrew 
to the area of the Army artillery battalion. 

An empty train from Hamhung, guarded by a platoon from Company 
A of the Amtracs, was halted at 1700 on the afternoon of 6 November 
by railway officials at Yonghung. Reports of guerrilla activity in the 
area had proved to be only too well founded when elements of the 96th 
Field Artillery Battalion were attacked early that morning. Their per- 
imeter south of the town was breached with losses to the Army unit 
of equipment and ammunition. 

The 2d Battalion of the 65th RCT, which arrived at Yonghung late 
that afternoon, had its baptism of fire within a few hours. Guerrillas 
in estimated strength of 500 to 800 attacked at 0300 on the 7th, in- 
flicting casualties of six killed and 14 wounded. Troops of the 96th Field 
Artillery Battalion also came under attack, as did elements of the 4th 
Signal Battalion, USA. Company D of the 1st Tank Battalion sent a 
Marine tank and "Weasel" (M-29) to evacuate the wounded with the 
assistance of the Amtrac platoon guarding the empty train at Yong- 
hung. 8 

At 1400 that afternoon the empty train resumed its run to Wonsan. 
Only two miles had been covered when the locomotive and six cars were 
derailed by a split rail and wrecked just south of Yonghung. Personnel 
losses amounted to one man killed and 14 injured. 

'The account of the guerrilla attack at Kowon is derived from: IstAmphTracBn SAR, 
5-6; IstAmphTracBn HD, Nov SO, 3; Statement of Pvt Richard J. Foster, n. d. 
' G-J SAR, 24; IstTkBn SAR, 13. 

*The description of this fight at Yonghung is based upon: IstAmphTracBn SAR, 5-6; 
IstAmphTracBn HD, Nov 50, 5 ; Dolcater 3d Infantry Division in Korea, 69 ', G-3 SAR, 
24; X Corps POR 42; and IstMarURpt (5-3) 9; D/Tks tel to O-} IstMarDiv, 0955 


The Chosin Reservoir Campaign 

At almost exactly this same hour the fourth supply train was stopped 
south of Kowon by a blown section of track. The guard proceeded on 
foot to investigate and encountered the depressing spectacle of the third 
supply train, abandoned by the enemy after being plundered. One 
ammunition car was still burning and in another riddled car the bodies 
of the trapped Marines were found. So extensive was the damage to 
tracks and switches that rail service could not be resumed until 
9 November. 10 

The Corps commander summoned General Smith to Wonsan that 
morning for a conference on measures for the security of the rail line. 
It was decided that only daytime runs would be made thereafter, with 
the train guard increased from 38 to 50 men. The 65th K.CT, the 26th 
ROK Regiment and a battery of the 96th Field Artillery Battalion were 
placed under the temporary control of the 1st Marine Division with a 
mission of guarding bridges and other key points. 11 

General Smith worked out a plan for the ROK regiment to drive the 
guerrillas southward from the Chigyong area toward the 65 th RCT at 
Yonghung. As it proved, elements of both units were given Corps com- 
mitments which prevented this maneuver from being put into effect. 
They remained only a few days under nominal Division control being 
used for a variety of security missions along the Wonsan-Hamhung 
MSR. 12 

By 9 November, when the Division supply trains resumed their 
runs, 95 loaded cars had accumulated at Wonsan. The 1st Combat 
Service Group continued to route supplies northward from the railhead 
at the Wonsan airfield. Corps orders required troops to ride in open 
gondola cars. 13 

Appraisals of the New Enemy 

It is understandable that an atmosphere of uncertainty should have 
enveloped military decisions of this period. With the Joint Chiefs of 
Staff and the UN command groping their way through a fog of war, 
division commanders in Korea could not be expected to see very far 

™ CO I Co [stc] IstAmphTracBn tel to G-3 IstMarDiv, 2215 7 Nov 50; Smith, Notes, 

" Smith, Notes, 475-478 ; CG's Diiry Extracts in X Corps WD 7 Nov 50. 
"Smith, Notes, 475-478; CG X Corps msg X12270, 9 Nov 50. 
" 1st CSG SAK, 8. 

Advance to the Chosin Reservoir 129 

Disconcerting as it had been to have the Chinese appear in the first 
place, it was even more disturbing to have them break off contact and 
vanish so inexplicably. Nevertheless, General MacArthur and his staff 
had a fairly accurate idea of CCF numbers at this time. On 2 November 
the UN command estimated that 16,500 Chinese Communist soldiers 
had crossed the Yalu and 450,000 CCF regulars were in Manchuria. 
Three days later, Major General Charles A. Willoughby's intelligence 
summary warned that the Chinese had the potential to start a large- 
scale counteroffensive. 1 * 

General MacArthur, reporting to the United Nations for the first half 
of November, stated that 12 CCF divisions had been identified in 
Korea, indicating a total of perhaps 100,000 troops. Nine of these 
units had appeared on the Eighth Army front and three in the X Corps 
zone north of Hamhung. 

"At the same time," the report continued, "United Nations aerial 
reconnaissance disclosed heavy troop movements near the border, in 
Manchuria, and into Korea." 16 

Quite as important as the new enemy's numbers was the question of 
his intentions. Did the CCF divisions consist merely of so-called volun- 
teers making a demonstration to encourage the beaten nkpa remnants? 
Or were the Chinese contemplating an all-out military intervention ? 

President Truman asked JCS on 4 November to obtain from General 
MacArthur an estimate of the situation. 10 The general's reply stated 
that it was "impossible to authoritatively appraise the actualities of 
Chinese Communist intervention in North Korea," He recommended 
"... that a final appraisement should await a more complete accumula- 
tion of military facts." 17 

During the next three days the issue of bombing bridges across the 
Yalu posed a question that has remained a controversial subject ever 
since. General MacArthur was granted permission, after being at first 
refused, but cautioned "that extreme care be taken to 
[of] Manchurian territory and airspace." 18 

" GHQ/UNC msgs 2977 and 2979, 3 and 5 Nov 50, as cited in Schnable, Korean 

* Ninth Report of the United Nations Command Operations in Korea, for the Period 1 
to 15 November 1950 in Dept State, United Nation; Action in Korea (Washington, 1951), 

* C/S USA msg 95790, 3 Nov 50; Truman Memoirs II, 373. 
"Truman, Memoirs, II, 373; CinCFE msg Q58285, 4 Nov 50. 

14 CinCFE msg C68 396, 6 Nov 50 ; JCS msg 93949, 6 Nov 50 ; JCS msg 95878, 5 Nov 50 ; 
Truman, Memoirs, II, 375-376; Whitney, MacArthur, -105-411 

Advance to the Chosin Reservoir 131 

In two messages of 7 November, the UN commander confirmed his 
original appraisal to the effect that the Chinese were not making a 
full-scale intervention. But he conceded that reinforcements might en- 
able the new enemy to stop the UN advance or even throw it into 
reverse. He planned a resumption of the initiative, he said, in order 
to take "accurate measure ... of enemy strength." And he repeated 
that the restriction of his bombing operations provided "a complete 
sanctuary for hostile air immediately upon their crossing of the Man- 
churia-North Korean border." This factor, he warned, could "assume 
decisive proportions. . . ." 1D 

On this same date, with the wary phase of UN strategy at its height, 
General Almond flew to Hungnam to confer with General Smith. The 
X Corps commander still wore another hat as General MacArthur's 
chief of staff; and though he could not function actively in this position, 
he kept in close touch with strategic aims at Tokyo. Thus the cautious 
spirit of the UN commander's messages of 7 November was reflected in 
Almond's changed viewpoint. Where he had previously urged haste in 
the X Corps drive to the border, he was now disposed to put on the 
brakes and carry out that mission with less scattering of forces. 

The prospect of a winter campaign was discussed, and the Marine 
general recommended that only enough territory be held for the security 
of Hamhung, Hungnam and Woman. Almond believed that Hagaru 
should also be included, but he agreed that a greater degree of con- 
centration was advisable. 20 

As day after day passed without further CCF contacts of importance, 
however, operations again took on the character of an occupation rather 
than a drive which might end in a collision with a powerful new 

X Corps OpnO 6, issued at 2400 on 11 November, called for an 
advance to the border by I ROK Corps on the right, the 7 th Infantry 
Division in the center and the 1st Marine Division on the left. The 3d 
Infantry Division, with the 26th ROK Regiment attached, was to have 
the responsibility for the Wonsan-Yonghung area after relieving ele- 
ments of the 1st Marine Division; the Marines were directed to take 
blocking positions at Huksu-ri and Yudam-ni. In the Corps rear, the 
1st KMC Regiment (-) had a zone to the south and west of Kojo. 

The Marine zone on the Yaki, about 40 miles in width, was ap- 

" CinCFE rasgs and CX68416, 7 Nov 50; Truman, Memoirs, U, 377. 

"Smith, Notes, 552-553. 


The Chosin Reservoir Campaign 

proached and bounded by two roads branching off from the Changjin 
area. One of them ended at Huchanggangu and the other at Singalpa- 
jin. From that point the zone of the 7 th Infantry Division extended 
east to Hyesanjin (where the border turns north at a right angle) and 
thence again eastward to the Hapsu area. I ROK Corps was to operate 
from the line Hapsu-Chuchonhujang and drive northward along the 
coast with Chongjin as an objective. 21 

Such a dispersion of forces, depending for supplies on poor secondary 
roads through wild mountain regions, could hardly have been contem- 
plated if large-scale CCF opposition were expected. As a further indi- 
cation of renewed confidence, General MacArthur asked informally and 
indirectly that X Corps do everything possible to assist the Eighth Army 
in its drive to the Yalu. This request was conveyed in a personal letter 
of 11 November from General Wright, G-3 of PECOM, to the Corps 
commander. 22 

The Turning Point of i_5 November 

The date of General Almond's reply, the 15th, is worthy of recognition 
as a turning point. For it was also the occasion of messages from the 
UN commander-in-chief and the commanding general of the 1st Ma- 
rine Division which had an effect on strategy. Indeed, the entire course 
of the Chosin Reservoir campaign was channeled into new directions 
as a result of the concepts advanced in these three communications of 
15 November 1950. 

Obviously the gap of 80 miles separating the Eighth Army from X 
Corps would have to be reduced before much help could be given by 
the latter. General Almond replied to General Wright in a letter pro- 
posing that X Corps attack to the west of the Chosin Reservoir while 
also continuing to advance northward in zone to complete its original 

That same day, while the letter was en route to Tokyo, General Mac- 
Arthur came to a far-reaching decision. In a radio message he directed 
the X Corps commander to develop, as an alternative to OpnO 6, a plan 
for reorienting his attack to the west on reaching Changjin in order to 
cut the Chinese MSR, as represented by the Manpoj in-Kanggye-Huichon 
road and rail line. 

n X Corps OpnO 6, 11 Nov 50. 

a X Corps Special Report on Cbos'tn Reservoir, 27 Nov to 10 Dec 50, 9; X Corps 
WDS»m, Nov 50, 5. 

Advance to the Chosin Reservoir 

This was the first indicated change in mission, according to the X 
Corps command report, since cinCFE's directive late in October call- 
ing for a drive to the border. The amendment "was made necessary," 
the report continued, "by the enemy build-up in front of the Eighth 
Army and the fact that the enemy action had halted the first attempt 
... to advance Eighth Army to the border. An estimate of the Eighth 
Army situation . . . fixed the relative combat power as 100,000 UN to 
100,000 enemy with UN forces having air superiority and superior 
artillery support. . . . The enemy was given an offensive capacity 
which he could implement with an estimated reserve of 140,000 CCF 
troops north of the Yalu River. In view of the enemy's offensive 
capacity, Eighth Army adopted a conservative plan to make a general 
advance with the main effort in the center generally parallel to the 
enemy MSR (Huichon-Kanggye) . This course of action was designed 
to meet any course of action which might be adopted by the enemy. 
To assist the Eighth Army advance, X Corps was to initiate a main 
attack to the West from the Chosin Reservoir area, cutting the enemy 
MSR at Mupyong-ni, and advance in a northwesterly direction to the 
Yalu River line at Manpojin," 23 

By a coincidence it was also on Wednesday, 15 November, that 
General Smith wrote a letter which foreshadowed future military 
events. Addressed to General Clifton B. Gates, Commandant of the 
Marine Corps, this communication made it plain that the 1st Marine 
Division commander and his staff did not share in the renewed op- 
timism as to the course of the UN war effort. Not only did the 
Marines accept the possibility of imminent and formidable CCF inter- 
vention, but they were making preparations to meet it. 

So far our MSR north of Hamhung has not been molested, but there is 
evidence that tin's situation will not continue. . . . 

Someone in high authority will have to make up his mind as to what is 
our goal. My mission is still to advance to the border. The Eighth Army, 80 
miles to the southwest, will not attack until the 20th. Manifestly, we should 
not push on without regard to the Eighth Army. We would simply get 
further out on a limb. If the Eighth Army push does not go, then the deci- 
sion will have to be made as to what to do next. I believe a winter campaign 
in the mountains of North Korea is too much to ask of the American soldier 
or marine, and I doubt the feasibility of supplying troops in this area during 
the winter or providing for the evacuation of sick and wounded. 

The letter mentioned such preparations as the work done by Marine 
! 'X Corps WD Sum, Nop SO, 4-5. 


engineers to strengthen the Hamhung-Hagaru . 
vehicles. Plans had been approved, added General Smith, for an airstrip 
at Hagaru capable of landing cargo planes for resupply and casualty 

He emphasized that he did not mean to be pessimistic. "Our people 
are doing a creditable job," he said; "their spirit is fine, and they will 
continue to do a fine job." But in conclusion he reiterated his doubts 
about his "wide open left flank" and his concern over "the prospect 
of stringing out a Marine division along a single mountain road for 
120 air miles from Hamhung to the border." 31 

General Smith had no more than finished dictating his letter when 
two Navy officers called at the CP— Rear Admiral Albert K. Morehouse, 
chief of staff to Admiral Joy, and Captain Norman W. Sears, chief of 
staff to Admiral Doyle. Both were old acquaintances of the Marine 
general, who had led the assault landing force on Peleliu in 1944 while 
Sears commanded an LST group, Smith felt that he could speak frankly, 
therefore, and expressed his concern over the aspects of the strategic 
situation he had discussed in the letter. 85 

cincFE had requested in his message of the 1st that the plan for re- 
; the X Corps attack be submitted to him as an alternative to 

lond put his staff to work on the 16th, and that 
same day Draft No. 1, of OpnO Plan 8 was completed. This was a 
concept of an attack on Kanggye by means of a drive westward from 


Changes in X Corps Mission 

Almond disapproved the first draft on the grounds that the MSR of the 
Corps element making the effort would be too far extended. He re- 
quested the preparation of a new plan based on the concept of an ad- 
vance farther south on the Hagaru-Mupyong-ni axis and west of the 
zone of the 1st Marine Division. The X Corps commander also directed: 

"MajGen O. P, Smith ltr to Gen C. B. Gates, 15 Nov 50. Gen Almond comments: 
"I am very mindful of the skepticism of General Smith in all of the supply plans that X 
Corps conceived and I sympathize with his viewpoint very thoroughly. However, in my 
mind there was always the assistance to be gained by air supply either drop or landing 
them and the counterpart of that, the evacuation to be expected by plane from the air field 
that we were to build." Almond ltr, 22 Jun 56. 

"Smith, Chronicle, 31, 

"This section is based on: X Corps Special Report, Chosm Rewrvoir, 9; and X Corps 
WDSum, Nov JO, 5-6, 51-52, 

Advance to the 



(1) That the Harrihung-Hagaru road be developed as a Corps MSR with 
intensive effort on the part of Corps troops, including Corps engineers; 

(2) That an RCT of the 7th Division be assigned the mission of seizing 
Changj in in order to protect the right flank of the 1st Marine Division. 

The Corps commander considered that Changj in and Mupyong-ni 
were too widely separated as objectives to be assigned to a single divi- 
sion, not to mention the difficult terrain. His staff worked for four days 
on Draft No. 2 of OpnO Plan 8 before submitting it to him. He ac- 
cepted it with several modifications and directed that the third draft 
be taken to Tokyo by Lieutenant Colonel John H. Chiles, the Corps 



General Smith, for his part, lost no time in putting into effect his 
preparations for trouble in the shape of a formidable CCF attack. The 
completion of mine clearance at Hungnam had opened that port on 
15 November, thus easing the transportation situation. That same day 
the 7th Marines occupied Hagaru, being greeted by a temperature of 
four degrees below zero which threatened an early and bleak winter. 

Only four days previously, X Corps OpnO No. 6 had directed the 1st 
Marine Division to take up blocking positions to the west, at Huksu-rt 
and Yudam-ni, while continuing the northward advance to the Yalu. 
This meant a further dispersion at a time when Smith hoped to reduce 
the 163 road miles separating his infantry battalions. 

In order to carry out the Corps directives, Division OpnO 21-50 of 13 
November assigned the following tasks: 

RCT-1— to seize Huksu-ri; 

RCT-7 — to seize Hagaru, and, on order, to seize Yudam-ni; 

RCT-5— to protect the MSR from positions at Majon-dong, Chinhung-ni 
and Koto-ri, while preparing to pass through RCT-7 in the 
Hagaru area and advance to Changj in (approximately 40 miles 
northward) ; 

Division Reconnaissance Company — to screen the Division right flank by 
operating in the Soyang-ni-Sinhung valley to the east Division 
boundary. 27 

" IstMarDiv OpnO 21-30, 13 Nov 50. The orders for the seizure of Hagaru and the 
5th Mar's movement of a battalion to Koto-ri had been issued in CG IstMarDiv FragO, 
2130 12 Nov 50. Hagaru was occupied without a fight at 1300 on the 14th. CO 7thMar 
msg to CG IstMarDiv, 14S7 14 Nov 50. 

In connection with the mission of RCT-7, the words "on order" 
deserve special notice. For the commanding officer was directed by 
Smith's oral instructions to take up blocking positions at Toktong Pass, 
about halfway between Hagaru and Yudam-ni, until additional units 
of the Division could be moved up to the Hagaru area. In other words, 
the Division commander believed that the possibilities of large-scale 
CCF intervention were such as to justify caution in the drive to 
Yudam-ni 28 

Not only would the concentration of the Marine units ease General 
Smith's concern over the tactical situation; it would also greatly simplify 
the administrative load. Colonel Bowser has commented, "Division 
was faced with the problem of handling a division scattered from 
Wonsan and Majon-ni in the south to the heavy engagement of the 7 th 
Mar in the north. Add to this the problem of guerrilla bandits between 
Wonsan and Hungnam/Hamhung as well as a complerely unknown 
situation to the West, and you have a task of considerable magnitude 
for any division staff." 29 

RCT-1 was delayed several days by lack of railway facilities in its 
move 70 miles northward to Chigyong after being relieved in the Won- 
san area by the 3d Infantry Division. 30 But most of the other Marine 
units had been pulled up — a battalion or even a company at a time- 
as far as the Hungnam area. Along the new MSR north of Hamhung, 
the column of advance on 15 November consisted of these units: 

Hagaru— RCT-7; 

Koto-ri — 2d Battalion, RCT-5 ; 

Chinhung-ni— 3d Battalion, RCT-5 ; Battery K, 4th Battalion, 11th Marines; 
Detachment 1st Ordnance Battalion; Detachment 1st Service Battalion; 
1st and 2nd Platoons, Company A, 1st .Engineer Battalion; Company B 
(less 3d Platoon), 1st Engineer Battalion; 
Majon-dong — 1st Battalion RCT-5; Company D, 1st Tank Battalion. 
The Division command and staff took a dim view of the possibility 
of completing "the race to the Yalu" before winter. It was already 
too late, if sub-zero temperatures were any indication; and preparations 
must now be made for tactical and logistical support of a midwinter 
campaign in the mountains. Among the most essential provisions were 
the selection of a forward base, the construction of airstrips along the 

, and the strengthening of the road to make it fit for tanks and 

B Smith, Notes, 592-5M. 
,s Bowser Comments. 
* lstMar SAR, 13. 

Advance to the Cbos'm Reservoir 


Hagaru, at the foot of the Chosin Reservoir, had been recommended 
by General Craig as the best location for a forward base when .he 
visited here on the 1 5th. The commanding generals of the Division 
and Wing arrived for a tour of inspection the next day. General Harris 
made the trip at the express request of General Almond, who believed 
that a strip long enough to land R4Ds was necessary to insure resupply 
and casualty evacuation in a midwinter emergency. One of the few 
comparatively flat pieces of real estate in northeast Korea was found 
just south of the town. The black loam promised to make a hard 
surface in freezing weather, so that the prevailing arctic temperatures 
offered at least one consolation, 31 

An OY strip had been completed on 13 November at Koto-ri, but 
heavier engineer equipment was needed at Hagaru. Before it could 
be brought forward, the road from Chinhung-ni to Koto-ri required 
strengthening and widening. This task had already been assigned to 
Lieutenant Colonel Partridge, commanding the 1st Engineer Battalion, 
After a survey by jeep, he decided to begin operations at the highest 
point of the one-way dirt road. 

"By working down," he explained, "we could first of all provide for 
what we considered to be a dangerous accumulation of snow, and the 
problem of land slides. . . . The work on the road involved a good bit 
of drainage in order to insure that the melting snows from day to day 
during the sunlight hours would not filter across and destroy the road 
bed. It involved demolitions and drilling and a good deal of dozer 
and grader work." 32 

Enough progress had been made by 18 November so that armor 
could be sent forward to support RCT-7. Only the day before, the 1st 
Tank Battalion had begun functioning with its Headquarters and Serv- 
!ce Companies at Soyang-ni, eight miles northwest of Hamhung. The 
road between Chmhung-ni and Koto-ri was still impassable for M-26 
(Pershing) tanks until the engineers could widen some of the turns. 
But Lieutenant Colonel Harry T. Milne, the battalion commander, or- 
ganized a provisional tank platoon consisting of two M4A3 (Sherman) 
tanks from Headquarters Company and four dozer tanks from Company 
t> at Majon-dong. They proceeded without incident on the 18th to 
Hagaru, operating as a gun platoon. 33 

11 Smith, Notes, 6\A; LtGen F. Harris Itr, 24 Aug 56. 
a LtCol J. H. Partridge intetv by HistDiv, HQMC, 25 Jun 51, J 1-12. 
a lstTtBn SAR, 18. IstEngrBn had been ordered to prepare the MSR for tank use on 
S Nov. CG JstMarDiv msg to CO IstEngrBn, 1530 6 Nov 50. 


The Chasm Reservoir Campaign 

Opening the mountain road to heavy traffic made it possible on the 
18th to begin work on the Hagaru airstrip. Five large dozers with 
pans o£ eight cubic yards capacity arrived at the site the next day, and 
Company D of the 1st Engineer Battalion tackled the job of hacking 
out a runway from ground frozen as hard as granite. Plans called for a 
cut of 90,000 cubic yards and a fill of 60,000 for a 3200-foot runway. 
The rub was that engineering field manuals prescribed a runway of 
3600 feet for R4Ds or C-47s at sea level, plus an additional 1000 feet 
for each 1000 feet of altitude. And since Hagaru was about 4000 feet 
above sea level, it could only be hoped that pilots were right in esti- 
mating that a strip of 3000 to 4500 feet might do in a pinch. 34 

The 19th also dated the establishment of the Supply Regulating Sta- 
tion at Hagaru for the purpose of building up stockpiles. Prior to this 
time, the 1st Service and 1st Ordnance Battalions had been in charge of 
division dumps at Hamhung. Supplies arrived by rail after being 
unloaded from the ships at Wonsan by the 1st Shore Party Battalion 
and the 1st Combat Service Group. 

The completion of mine clearance made it possible to order the latter 
organization to Hungnam by sea to operate in-transit depots for X 
Corps. Practically all Division supplies were soon being received by 
sea at this port, where the 1st Combat Service Group separated the 
incoming cargo into proper classifications and forwarded it to the 
dumps at Hamhung. Port operation was the responsibility of the 2d 
Engineer Special Brigade, USA. After the project got into full swing, 
from 2000 to 2500 Korean laborers were emp toyed at Hungnam and 
as many as 6000 tons of cargo unloaded in 24 hours. ss 

A limited amount of rolling stock was available for the narrow-gauge 
railway from Hungnam to Chinhung-ni. But it was up to the Marines 
to put the line back into operation, for the X Corps Railway Transporta- 
tion Section already had its hands full with the Wonsan-Hamhung 
route. The 1st Service Battalion was authorized to make the attempt, 
and enough Korean crews were rounded up to operate the trains. Chin- 
hung-ni thus became the railhead for supplies trucked the rest of the 
way to Hagaru. 38 

Preparations were also made for large-scale casualty evacuation to 

H CG IstMarDiv msg to CG X Corps, 1229 18 Nov 30; Partridge interv, 25 Jun 51, 

" Kenneth W. Condi t, "Marine Supply in Korea," Marhe Corps Gazette, xxxvii, no. I 
(J« 3M, 53-5-4, 

Advance to the Chosin Reservoir 


the Division hospital at Hungnani. H&S, A and B Companies o£ the 
1st Medical Battalion remained there to set up the Division hospital 
while D, C and E Companies were attached to RCTs 1, 5 and 7 respec- 
tively. As the Division center of gravity shifted northward, medical 
officers foresaw the need of a hospital-type facility at Hagaru in addi- 
tion to die clearing stations contemplated at Koto-ri and Chinhung-ni. 
Plans were approved, therefore, for Companies C and E to pool their 
resources at Hagaru and establish a medical supply dump. Additional 
surgical teams were to be flown to Hagaru in an emergency by Com- 
panies A and B from the hospital at Hungnam. 

Meanwhile the hospital ship Consolation, commanded by Captain 
John W. McElroy, USNR, prepared to move from Wonsan to Hung- 
nam. There the Division hospital had been enlarged to 400 beds, and 
an additional 100 to 150 were planned for the new annex at Hamhung. 
In order to speed up casualty evacuation, several heated railway cars 
were equipped for that purpose on die 35-mile narrow-gauge line from 
Chinhung-ni. 117 

Supplies Trucked to Hagaru 

Provisions for the advance of RCT-5 east of the Chosin Reservoir were, 
included in Division OpnO 22-50, issued at 0800 on 17 November. 
As a preliminary, RCT-7 was given a two-fold mission: (l) to protect 
the Division left flank between Hagaru and Yudam-ni with a minimum 
of a battalion; and (2) to relieve elements of RCT-5 and protect the 
MSR in zone from positions in the vicinity of Hagaru, Koto-ri and 

RCT-5 was assigned these missions: (l) to pass a minimum of a 
battalion through RCT-7 at Hagaru; (2) to move up the east side of 
the Chosin Reservoir and seize Sinhung-ni, about 7 miles northeast of 
Hagaru; and (3), on order, to seize the road junction at Kyolmul-ni, 
some 20 miles north of Hagaru. 

Division Reconnaissance Company was to screen the left flank of the 
MSR in the vicinity of Majon-dong, and the 11th Marines to maintain its 
4th Battalion in that area prepared for employment in the north on 

; "CG IstMarDiv rnsg to Subordinate Units, 2345 20 Nov 50; IstMarDiv SAR, annex 
HH (hereafter IstMedBn SAR), 4-7. 

The Chosin Reservoir Campaign 

OpnO 22-50 directed the Supply Regulating Detachment (l) to 
establish a tmckhead at Hagaru after taking over and consolidating the 
dumps of RCT-7; (2) to control traffic between Koto-ri and Chin- 
hung-ni; and (3) to support RCTs 5 and 1, with priority to RCT-5. The 
following supply levels were fixed: 

Classes I and III, five days; 
Class V, 1 Unit of fire; 

Classes II and IV, as required for all troops operating to the north and west 
of Koto-ri. 38 

Although the advance westward to Huksu-ri remained the mission 
of RCT-1, the shortage of rail and motor transport slowed the move- 
ment from Wonsan to Chigyong. The last elements had not arrived on 
the 18th when Corps asked and received the consent of Division to the 
employment of the 26th ROK Regiment for the attack on Huksu-ri, with 
the understanding that the objective would be turned over to RCT-1 at 
a later date. On the morning of the 19th the ROK unit left Chigyong 
to execute its mission. 36 

Two days later RCT-1 was relieved of this responsibility when Corps 
verbally notified Division that Huksu-ri had been placed within the 
modified boundary of the 3d Infantry Division. This was confirmed 
the next day by X Corps OI 17, which also directed the Division to 
establish blocking positions at Yudam-ni.* 

Up to this time General Smith had not been able to make much prog- 
ress toward Yudam-ni without dispersing his units to an extent which 
he regarded as imprudent. But with the availability of RCT-1 to occupy 
positions on the MSR behind the other two infantry regiments, he 
could now push ahead. 

As an added factor, the 1st Marine Division had just acquired a new 
unit. Early in November Admiral Joy had inquired if General Smith 
could use the 41 st Independent Commando, Royal Marines. This 
British unit of 14 officers and 221 enlisted men, commanded by Lieu- 
tenant Colonel Douglas B. Drysdale, and attached to ComNavFE in 
Japan, had requested service with the U. S. Marines. Smith replied that 
he would be glad to have these fine troops. Highly trained in recon- 
naissance, they could operate with the Division Reconnaissance Com- 

■ IstMarDiv OpnO 22-50, 17 Nov 50. 

" IstMar SAR, 12; G-3 X Corps td to G-3 IstMarDiv, 1220 18 Nov 50; 26thROK 
mse to 3dInfDiv, 1030 19 Nov 50, 

"Smith, Notes, 638-639; X Corps OI 17, 22 Nov 50. See also G-3 X Corps td to 
G-3 IstMarDiv, 1850 20 Nov 50, in G-3 Journal, X Corps WD, 20 Nov 50. 

Advance to the Chasm Reservoir 

14 1 

pany in protecting the flank of the Marine advance. The British Ma- 
rines arrived at Hungnam on the 20th and reported to the 1st Marine 
Division. 41 

Division OpnO 23-50, issued at 0800 on the 23d, directed the Com- 
mandos to locate and destroy enemy forces on the left flank, ranging 
as far as 13 miles west of Koto-ri. It was hoped that the British unit 
and the Division Reconnaissance Company might flush out CCF troops 
beyond the reach of routine infantry patrols. Other tasks assigned to 
elements of the Division were as follows: 

RCT-7 — to seize Yudam-nj and maintain one battalion in that position; 
RCT-5 — to seize Kyolmul-li (20 miles north of Hagaru) and be prepared 

to sei2e Toksil-Ii (10 miles northwest of Kyolmul-li) and Tuan-di 

(15 miles northeast of Kyolmul-li) on order; 
RCT-1— to relieve elements of RCT-7 in the vicinity of Hagaru and Koto-ri 

and protect the Division MSR from positions in the vicinity of 

Hagaru, Koto-ri and Chinhung-ni; 
1st Tank Battalion (less detachments)— to protect the MSR from positions 

in the vicinity of Majon-dong and Soyang-ni; 
1st Engineer Battalion — to support Division operations with priority to the 

maintenance of the MSR and construction of the airfield at Hagaru. 

OpnO 23-50 also provided that the Supply Regulating Station De- 
tachment continue operation of the truckhead at Hagaru and stock sup- 
plies at the following levels; Classes I and III, 8 days; Classes II and 
IV, as required; and Class V, one and one-third U/F for all troops 
operating to the north and west of Chinhung-ni.' 42 

The trucking facilities of the Division had been strained to the limit 
ever since the Wonsan landing. Shortly afterwards the bulk of the 
7 th Motor transport Battalion was taken under the operational control 
of X Corps, and it became necessary to attach the 1st Motor Transport 
Battalion to RCT-7. On 19 November, however, the 1st MT (less 
detachments) had passed to the control of the 1st Supply Regulating 
Detachment at Hagaru. There the truckers not only built up the stock- 
pile of supplies but rendered the best support that units of the division 
had known so far along the MSR." 

"Smith, Notes, 638-639: IsrMarDiv POR 164. 

1 s tlvf 3 rD i v QftfiO 23~^0 23 T^ov 50 
■ IstMarDiv SAR, anne x II (hereafter 1st MTBn SAR), 4, 7; 7th MTBn SAR, 2-3. 


The Chosm Reservoir Campaign 

General MacArthur did not appear to be shaken by EUSAK G~2 re- 
ports during the third week of November which called attention to a 
formidable CCF build-up on both sides of the Yalu. On the contrary, a 
UN order of the 20th, giving directions for the conduct of troops at 
the border, indicated that an occupation rather than a fight was 

Elements of minimum size only will be advanced to the immediate vicinity 
of the geographical boundary of Korea. No troops or vehicles will go beyond 
the boundary between Korea and Manchuria, or between Korea and the 
USSR, nor will fire be exchanged with, or air strikes be requested on forces 
north of the northern boundary of Korea. Rigid control of troop movements 
in vicinity of northern boundary will be exercised. Damage, destruction or 
disruption of service of power plants will be avoided . No personnel, military 
or civilian, will be permitted to enter or leave Korea via the Manchurian or 
USSR border. Commanders will insure that the sanctity of the international 
border is meticulously preserved. 14 

The italicized sentence emphasizes an assumption which had made 
converts in high State Department as well as Defense circles in Wash- 
ington. The Chinese, according to this conjecture, were concerned 
chiefly with defending their Manchurian frontier and guarding the 
power complexes along the Yalu. As evidence, it was pointed out that 
early in November die Sinuiju radio described the CCF troops crossing 
the river as a "volunteer corps" for the protection of the hydro-electric 
plants along the Yalu serving Mukden, Dairen and Port Arthur. Pro- 
ceeding from this premise, it was a logical conclusion that if no pro- 
vocation were given these forces, a large-scale fight might be avoided.' 16 

General MacArthur, after receiving a qualified permission to bomb 
the Yalu bridges, had enjoined UN airmen not to violate territory or 
air space on the other side of the river. This meant that the bomber 
crews must take much greater risks, since their restricted axes of ap- 
proach and flight paths were known to enemy antiaircraft gunners in ad- 
vance. Moreover, CCF jet fighters could attack and retire to the 
sanctuary of Manchuria when hard-pressed. 411 

"CGX Corps msg X12811, 20 Nov 50. Italics added. 

"See Memo Chairman JCS to SecDef: "Chinese Communists Intervention in Korea," 
9 Nov 50; and Truman, Memoirs, II, 372. 

"JCS msg 95949, 6 Nov 50; CinCFE msg CX 68411, 7 Nov 50; Schnable, Korean 
Conflict. See also Rang, Korea, H6-578. 

Advance to the Cbos'm Reservoir 

Despite these handicaps, Air Force and Navy bombers knocked out 
four of the twelve international bridges and damaged most of the 
others. These efforts doubtless imposed delays, but troops and supplies 
continued to cross throughout November. 47 After arrival in North 
Korea, they seemed to vanish into that void of mystery which had 
swallowed up Chinese Communist troops ever since they broke off 

Students of history may have recalled at this time that one of the 
most significant engagements of modern history was known as the 
Battle of the Yalu. From a tactical viewpoint, to be sure, the clash of 
30 April 1904 was not a great affair. The Japanese army, after dis- 
embarking at Chemulpo (Inchon) and marching up the Korean penin- 
sula, numbered five times the Russian force which opposed the crossing 
of rhe Yalu at Uiji, just east of Sinuiju. A Japanese victory was doubt- 
less to be expected, yet a new page of history had opened. For the first 
time in modern chronicles, an Asiatic army had successfully challenged 
a European army with the weapons and tactics of the Machine Age. 

Now, nearly half a century later, history was repeating itself as an- 
other Asiatic army crossed tire Yalu with unknown capabilities and 
intentions. If the Chinese Communists were merely sending a force to 
guard the hydro-electric complexes and frontier, hopes of peace by 
Christmas might be realized. But if the invaders were secretly massing 
for an all-out counter-offensive, a great new war might soon be flaming 
up from the ashes of the old. 

Little fault can be found with current G-2 estimates of CCF numbers, 
Which hold up surprisingly well even when viewed with the wisdom 
of hindsight. Quite as much depended on interpretations of CCF inten- 
tions by the UN command, and there can be no doubt that an end-of-the- 
War atmosphere prevailed on the eve of the Eighth Army offensive of 
24 November. 

Thanksgiving Day, which fell on the 23d, was celebrated both in 
Korea and the United States in a spirit of rejoicing over a victorious 
peace which seemed almost within grasp, It was a tribute to American 
bounty as well as organizational genius that the troops in Korea were 
served a dinner which would have done credit to a first-rate Stateside 
restaurant. The menu, as proposed by X Corps to component units, 

" Sdtnable Korean Conflict. Bombing of the bridges ceased 6 December with the 
'reeling of the Yalu. OCMH, Report from the Secretary of Defense . . . on Operations 
h Korea, (Draft No. l), Pt. V, 3-4. 

144 The Choshi Reservoir 

included shrimp cocktail, stuffed olives, roast young torn turkey with 
cranberry sauce, candied sweet potatoes, fruit salad, fruit cake, mince 
pie and coffee, 48 

As an item of good news for this Thanksgiving, it was learned the 
day before that the 17th Regiment of the 7th Infantry Division had 
reached the Yalu at Hyesanjin. Not a single Chinese soldier had been 
encountered by troops who had troubles enough with sub-zero tempera- 
tures and mountain roads. 40 

Since the first week of November, in fact, there had been no clashes 
of any importance with the invaders from Red China. On the 24th, 
as usual, the front was quiet everywhere except for minor patrol con- 
tacts. Yet this was the D-day of the great Eighth Army offensive, and 
the stirring communique of the commander-in-chief was read to all 
troops in Korea. It was a message in the bold spirit of Inchon, and no 
one could doubt the confidence of the UN command after hearing these 

The United Nations massive compression envelopment in North Korea 
against the new Red Armies operating there is now approaching its decisive 
effort. The isolating component of the pincer, our air forces of all types, 
have for the past three weeks, in a sustained attack of model coordination 
and effectiveness, successfully interdicted enemy lines of support from the 
north so that further reinforcement therefrom has been sharply curtailed and 
essential supplies markedly limited. The eastern sector of the pincer, with 
noteworthy and effective naval support, has now reached commanding envel- 
oping position, cutting in two the northern reaches of the enemy's geographi- 
cal potential. This morning the western sector of the pincer moves forward 
in general assault in an effort to complete the compression and close the vise. 
If successful, this should for all practical purposes end the war, restore peace 
and unity to Korea, enable the prompt withdrawal of United Nations mili- 
tary forces, and permit the complete assumption by the Korean people and 
nation of full sovereignty and international equality. It is that for which 
we fight. 00 

Genet d- of the Army, 
United States Army, 

** X Corps ltr to Subordinate Commands, 16 Nov 50. 

"This was the only American unit ever to push as far north as the border. On the 
Eighth Army front a regiment of the 6th ROK Division reached the Yalu on 26 October, 
only to be cut off and badly mauled a Few days later in the firs! CCF attacks, EUSAK, 
W'DSura, Oct SO, 38, 44. 

"" 'CinCUNC Communique 12, 24 Nov 30. 

Advance to the Cbasin Reservoir 


Eighth Army troops found it something of an anticlimax, after this 
message, to jump off without meeting any large-scale opposition. Gen- 
eral MacArthur, who flew to the front for the occasion, watched from 
his plane as the UN columns moved out unmolested, as if conducting a 
motor march. 

"The Army offensive began, as scheduled, at 1000 hours on 24 
November," said the eusak report. "Since for some time there had 
been little contact with enemy forces the advance of eusak elements 
was in the nature of a meeting engagement, with little or no resistance 
in the initial stage. Across the Eighth Army front as a whole, advances 
Were made from 4000 to 16,000 yards." G1 

Marine Concentration on MSR 

On this same day Lieutenant Colonel Chiles presented X Corps OpnPIan 
% Draft 3, at Tokyo. It was approved at UNC Headquarters with only 
°t>e modification — the shifting of the proposed boundary between X 
Corps and Eighth Army farther to the south in the zone of the 1st 
Marine Division. 

This plan was the basis of X Corps OpnO 7. Issued on the 25th, it 
provided for a reorientation of the X Corps attack to provide more 
assistance for Eighth Army. H-hour was to be 0800 on the 27th, and 
the principal units of X Corps were assigned these tasks: 

1st Marine Division— to seize Mupyong-ni and advance to the Yalu; 
7th Infantry Division— (1) to attack from east side of Chosin Reservoir 
and advance to Yalu in zone; (2) to secure Pungsan area, coordinating with 
1 ROK Corps; 

I ROK Corps— to advance from Hapsu and Chongjin areas, destroying 
enemy in zone to north boundary of Korea; 

3rd Infantry Division — (1) to gain and maintain contact with the right 
flank of Eighth Army in zone; (2) to protect the left flank of X Corps; 
(3) to support the 3st Marine Division on X Corps order; (4) to protect 
harbor and airfield at Wonsan; (5) to destroy enemy guerrillas in zone, fi2 

A Corps warning order, issued on the evening of the 24 th, was 
supplemented by a briefing session at Corps Headquarters at 1000 the 
n ext morning. General Smith learned that his division was to be the 
"orthern arm of the pincers in the "massive compression envelopment" 

»{^^?^. 50. 

146 The Chosm Reservoir Campaign 

while the 7th Infantry Division took over the previous Marine missioi 
of advancing east of the Chosin Reservoir to the Yalu. 63 

The new Marine boundary cut across Korea to the north of Eightl 
Army. From Yudam-ni the Marine route of advance led to Mupyong-n 
55 miles to the west. This objective was about halfway between Huichoi 
in the south and Kanggye in the north (see map, Page 130) . From th 
latter, which was believed to be the assembly area of the nkpa rem 
nants, a good road led about 40 miles north to Manpojin on the Yalu 

In accordance with Corps OpnO 7, the rear boundary of the Is 
Marine Division had been moved north to a line just south of Hagaru 
The 3d Infantry Division had the responsibility for the area soutl 
of Hagaru, but this unit had so many other commitments that it couli 
assign few troops to the task. General Smith was granted permission 
therefore, to retain garrisons at Koto-ri and Chinhung-ni, This lef 
the 3d Infantry Division responsible for the protection of the MSI 
from Sudong southward to Hamhung. 6 * 

Corps OpnO 7, in short, provided for a wide envelopment to b 
spearheaded by the 1st Marine Division on 27 November. The othe 
arm of the pincers, of course, was to be the Eighth Army; but on th 
evening of the 25 th came the disturbing news that its right wing, th 
II ROK Corps, had been hurled back by a surprise CCF counterstrola 
This reverse took place in the vicinity of Tokchon, about 70 air mile 
southwest of Yudam-ni. 6e 

EUSAK intelligence reports, as it proved, were not far off the marl 
in estimating enemy strength on the Eighth Army front at 149,74 
troops at this time/' During the past few days, however, estimates o 
probable enemy courses of action had been so reassuring as to justifl 
the confidence of cinCFE's communique on D-day. Even the setback ej 
the 25th was not regarded as alarming. 

"With the possible exception of the relatively vague situation on th' 
east flank," said the next day's G-2 report, "the enemy reaction to th' 
eusak attack has been one of active defense with local counterattack 
in strength." The enemy's probable course of action was believed I 
be "an active defense in depth along present lines employing strong 

"CG X Corps msg X 13059, 24 Nov 50; CG's Diary in X Corps WD, 25 Nov 4 
Smith. Notes, 727. 
" Smith, Notts, 727-729. 
*tm., 728; EUSAK WD, 26 Nov 50. 

Advance to the Chosin Reservoir 


with bypassed units; limited air activity; and further reinforcement by 
CCF or USSR forces."" 

On the X Corps front the reorientation of the attack to the west gave 
General Smith a long-sought opportunity to collect his dispersed units 
and achieve a relative degree of concentration. The release of RCT-1 
from its Huksu-ri mission made it possible to bring that infantry 
regiment up behind the other two. This move in turn enabled RCT-5 
to advance east of the Chosin Reservoir and RCT-7 to push on to 

Progress might have been more rapid for all units if adequate trans- 
portation had been available for RCT-1 in the Chigyong area. Only 
by using vehicles of the 11th Marines was it possible to move 1/1 to 
Chinhung-ni, where it relieved the 3d Battalion of the 5th Marines on 
23 November. During the next two days the 2d Battalion and RCT-1 
Headquarters relieved 2/5 at Koto-ri. After the return of the vehicles, 
3/1 (less Company G, left behind for lack of trucks) was lifted to 
Hagaru on the 26th to relieve the 2d Battalion, 7th Marines, 08 

All three battalions of RCT-5 were operating east of the Chosin 
Reservoir by 24 November. Until supply levels were built up at Hagaru, 
however, General Smith kept a careful check on the advance in this 
■ quarter. The farthest penetration took place on the 25th when a platoon- 
> size patrol of 3 /5, reinforced by two tanks, drove nearly to die northern 
end of the Reservoir. Scattered enemy groups were flushed out and an 
! abandoned 75mm gun destroyed after a pursuit resulting in five Chinese 
I killed and one captured. This was one of the few encounters in an 
I area combed by patrols from all three battalions, and no signs of large- 
) scale enemy activity were reported by Lieutenant Colonel Robert D. 
I Taplett, CO of 3/5, after a helicopter reconnaissance. 69 

Meanwhile RCT-7 began its move to Yudam-ni. This objective had 
1 first been mentioned as early as 11 November in X Corps OpnO 6, But 
if Until RCT-1 could be brought up to the MSR. the Division Commander 
i limited the advance to the vicinity of Toktong Pass. There an esti- 
| mated 150 to 200 enemy resisted with machine-gun fire but were scat- 
f tered with the aid of air strikes and artillery support. 
? On the 23d, in accordance with Division OpnO 23-50, the 1st Bat- 
p talion led the advance of RCT-7. During the next two days Lieutenant 

*' BUSAK PJR 137, 4, and end 4, 3, in EUSAK WD, 26 Nov 50. 
* IstMar SAR, 1J, and appendix 6, 4; IstMar HD, Nov 50, 2 ; IstMarDiv msg to COs 
i llth Sc IstMars, 1350, 22 Nov 50. 

" SthMar SAR 15-18. Smith, Notes, 626. 


The Chosin Reservoir Campaign 

Colonel Davis's reinforced battalion methodically cleared booby-trapped 
but undefended road blocks and scattered small groups of enemy along 
the route. The men of 1 /7 belatedly celebrated Thanksgiving on the 
24 th with a full, hot turkey dinner— their last full meal for 17 days— 
and seized battered Yudam-ni the next day against negligible resist- 
ance. 00 The 3d Battalion, regimental headquarters, and 3/11 (-) 

Marine operations east of the Chosin Reservoir came to an end at 
1200 on the 25th with the relief of RCT-5 by the 1st Battalion, 32d 
Infantry, 7th Infantry Division. Corps orders called for this unit to, 
remain under operational control of the 1st Marine Division until the 
assumption of command in the area by the CO, 31st Infantry. All ele- 
ments of RCT-5 were to be relieved by the following noon for the mis- 
sion of advancing to Yudam-ni and then passing through RCT-7 to 
lead the attack toward Mupyong-ni. 01 

This was in accordance with Division OpnO 24-50, issued at 0800 
on the 26th to implement the provisions of Corps OpnO 7. The jump- 
off was to be at 0800 on 27 November, with the first objective the road 
junction at Yongnim-dong (27 road miles west of Yudam-ni), in 
preparation for further advance on order to the high ground about one! 
mile south of Kogae-gol and 35 miles west of Yudam-ni. Other provi- 
sions of OpnO 24-50 were as follows: 

RCT-7 — to seize and secure Yudam-ni without delay, and when passed! 

through by RCT-5, to protect the Division MSR from Sinhung-ni'l 

(7 miles west of Hagam) to Yudam-ni; 
RCT-5 — to pass through RCT-7 west of Yudam-ni by 0800, 27 November, 

advance to the west and seize first objective, prepared for further' 


RCT-1— in Division reserve, to occupy positions in the vicinity of Chinhung 

ni, Koto-ri and Hagatu for the protection of the MSR; 
11th Marines— less detachments, to provide general support from positions in 

the vicinity of Yudam-ni; 
4 1st Commando— reinforced, to move to Yudam-ni prepared for operations, 

to the southwest to protect Division left flank; 
Reconnaissance Company — to move to Yudam-ni and reconnoiter to the 

north in co-ordination with operations of RCT-7. 112 

General Smith, flying by helicopter from Hungnam to Yudam-ni of 

" 7thMar SAR, 19-20; MajGen H. L. Litzenberg Comments, 19 Jul 56; Col R, G, Davii 
Comments, a. d. 

" StliMar SAR, 18; CG lstMarDiv msg to CO 5thMar, 2101, 25 Nov 50. 
* IstMarDiv OpnO 24-50, 26 Nov 50. 

USN Photo 421351 

Operation Yo-Yo — Back and forth, changing course at twelve-hour in- 
tervals, the ships bearing the Marines and their gear mark time during 
mine clearance operations at Woman. 

LISA Photo SC JM*- 1 

Woman Arrivals — Above, Bob Hope entertaining Marine airmen who 
were first to reach the seaport; and, below, Marine infantry disembark- 
ing from cargo nets of Marine Phoenix into the LCVPs. 

I US N Photo 421 3l{ , USN Pilots 421362 

Administrative Landing — Above, an LCM and a troop-laden anitrac 
in Woman harbor; and, below, LSTs drawn up abreast to land the thou- 
sands of tons of supplies required by a division. 

i Photo 421388 

USA Photo SC MI^ 

Woman Seems— Akew, * camouflaged hangar on Woman airfield; 
below, Marine infantry in railway station awaiting transportation shortly 
after their debarkation. 

USMC Photo A 4)52 

USMCPhoto A«23 

First Action in Northeast Korea — Two views of Marine infantry mop- 
ping up guerrillas after surprise counterattack in Kojo area by NKPA 
troops escaping to join Chinese Reds. 

JSMC Photo A 4327 

USN Photo 42 3 189 Photo courtesy LtGtn E. A. CraiK 

On the Planning Level — Above, RAdm /. H. Doyle, CTF-90, and 
BrlgGen E. A. Craig, ADC of 1st Marine Division; below, V/Adm 
A.D. Struble, Cdr JTP-7, and MajGen E. M. Almond, CG X Corps, 
in the USS Missouri. 

USN Photo 422376 

Command Conference — Above, left to right, MajGen IF. /. Wallace, 
USMC; LlGen L. C. Shepherd, Jr., USMCj MajGen 0. P, Smith, 
USMC; MajGen E. A. Almond, USA; and MajGen Field Harris, 
USMC; beloiv, 1st Marine Division CP at Hungnam. 

Pllntn courtesy I.tGcn E. A. Craig 

USMC Pfiot o A if. 

First Chinese Resistance — Above, infantry of 1th Marines setting up 
mortar during initial encounter with Chinese in northeast Korea; and, 
below, enemy tank killed by Marine fire. 

Photo courtesy Maj R. B. Grossman 

USMC Plioto A 4550 

Advance -of RCT-7 — Above, artillery emplacement of Battery G, 11th 
Marines, on 3 November 1950; and, below, supplies transported over 
railroad from Wonsan to Hamhung. 

Photo SC 352741 

usa pikim sc; 

As Seen from (he Air — Above, "frozen Chosin" and the rugged terrain 
of the Reservoir area; and, below, an aerial view of the MSR winding 
its precarious way through Fumhilin Pass — "a cliff on one side and a 
chasm on the other." 

Photo courtesy LtGcn E, A. Crai K 

USMC Plioto A 5385 

As Seen by the Infantry — Here are two views of the sort of terrain en- 
countered by the infantry of the 1st Marine Division; sometimes it was 
as difficult to complete an approach march as to dislodge the enemy 
after arrival. 

^ Photo A 5.132 

USMC Photo A 4S41 

USMC Photo 

Air Supply and Evacuation—Above, an air drop of supplies and belt- 
copter evacuation of casualties at Yudam-ni; beloiu, parachute-rigged 
cases of ammunition in an Air Force C—47, 

USA Photo SC 353608 

USMC Fhoto A 4860 

Preparations for Yudam-ni Breakout — Above, Marines selecting gear 
for breakout from Yudam-ni to Ha gar it; and, below, the first stages 
of the three-day fighting advance. 

1C Photo A 4843 


USMC Plioto A 4 58 

Chinese Communist POWs — Above, these CCF prisoners don' t seem un- 
happy about their captivity; below, a Chinese officer being interrogated 
ivith the aid of an interpreter, 

USMC Photo A 521)6 

USMC Photo A -.675 

Marines on the Mar.cb — These two pictures give some idea of the ex- 
haustion of Marines, many of than walking wounded, as they huddle 
by the roadside during halts of the Yudani-ni breakout. 

^ M C Photo A }676 

USMC Photo A f 

Covered by Artillery — Above, a 105mm howitzer fires to the rear as the 
infantry fights its way fonvard from Yudam-ni; below, a quarter of a 
mile per hour was considered good progress. 

USMC Photo A 48(33 

Advance to the Chasm Reservoir 

the morning of the 26th, could survey the MSR below him and reflect 
with satisfaction that it was now easier to count the Marine outfits 
south of Chinhung-ni than those to the north. These included the 1st 
Tank Battalion with the exception of the provisional platoon at Hagaru 
and the 2d Platoon of Company D at Chinhung-ni. Transportation had 
not yet been provided for the 4 1st Commando, but the new unit was 
scheduled to move up in convoy on the 28th with Headquarters Bat- 
talion when the Division CP displaced from Hungnam to Hagaru. 
By that time only service units and a few platoons of tanks and engineers 
would be left in the rear area. 

At Hagaru the C-47 airstrip was taking shape as the dozers hacked 
away at the frozen earth night and day, working under flood lights in 
the darkness. Companies C and E of the 1st Medical Battalion had set 
up clearing stations and built up dumps of medical supplies. Troop 
units at Hagaru and Yudam-ni had two days' supplies of rations and 
fuel, but only a unit of fire was stockpiled at Hagaru in addition to the 
half unit carried by the troops. 

Marine motor columns were winding along the narrow, twisting 
mountain road from Hagaru to Yudam-ni in preparation for the attack 
in the morning. Upon arrival at Lieutenant Colonel Davis's 1 /7 CP, 
General Smith learned to his discomfort that the hovering ability of a 
rotary-wing aircraft is curtailed at high altitudes. The helicopter 
dropped like a stone the last ten feet, but fortunately no injury resulted 
to passenger, pilot or machine. 63 

On the 26th intelligence arrived at Hamhung from the 7th Marines, 
reporting capture of three soldiers from the 60th CCF Division, They 
asserted that the 58 th, 59th, and 60th Divisions of the 20th CCF Army 
had reached the Yudam-ni area on the 20th. According to these enlisted 
men, Chinese strategy envisioned a move south and southeast from 
Yudam-ni to cut the MSR after two Marine regiments passed. 64 

X Corps had received similar reports of Chinese movement southeast 
from Yudam-ni as well as air reports of enemy activity north and north- 
east of the Chosin Reservoir. Six Chinese divisions had now been iden- 
tified in northeast Korea but both Corps and Division intelligence esti- 
I mates of probable enemy action continued to be optimistic. Although 
Chinese attacks on the division's MSR or along the Huichon-Huksu-ri- 

a Smith, Chronicle, 89. 
CO 7thMar msg to CG IstMarDiv, 1935, 26 Nov 30. 


The Chos'm Reservoir Campaign 

Harahung axis were not ruled out, G-2 officers seemed to consider a 
continued westward withdrawal more likely. 05 

Division planning went ahead on the assumption of commander and 
staff that the enemy would be met in strength in the mountainous coun- 
try west of Yudam-ni, This was the basis for the decision to pass the 
relatively fresh 5th Marines through the 7th for the attack westward.' 18 

It was a cold, clear Sunday afternoon when General Smith returned 
to Hungnam. From his helicopter he could see for several miles on 
either side, and no signs of enemy activity were discerned in the snow- 
clad hills. After his arrival at the Division CP, however, the Marine 
general was informed that the situation had gone from bad to worse in 
west Korea. The II ROK Corps on the right flank had disintegrated 
on the 26th under a second day's heavy blows, thus exposing the 2d 
Infantry Division and Turkish Brigade to flank attack. In short, the 
Eighth Army offensive had been brought to a standstill before the 
Marines could jump off in the morning as the other arm of the United 
Nations envelopment. 

"X Corps, Special Report, Chos'm Reservoir, 32; IstMarDiv PIR 33. 
M Smith Icr, 15 j\pr 56. See also Smith, Chronicle, 79, 82, 87- 


Crisis at Yudam-ni 

Marine Attack on aj November — Marine Disposition Before 
CCF Attack — The Battle of Northwest Ridge—Chinese Seize 
Hill 1403— -Fighting at 3/5' s CP— The Battle of North Ridge 

THE 2D battalion, vanguard of the 5th Marines, completed its 
move from the east coast of the Chosin Reservoir to Yudam-ni 
during the afternoon and evening of 26 November. After deploying 
his command south of the village, Lieutenant Colonel Roise and his S-3, 
Major Theodore F. Spiker, made a reconnaissance in preparation for 
the next day's attack. 1 

Yudam-ni lies in the center of a broad valley surrounded by five great 
ridges, named in relation to their direction from the village: North, 
Northwest, Southwest, South, and Southeast. Beginning at the rim of 
the valley, each of these ridges extends several thousand yards and in- 
cludes many peaks, spurs, and draws, certain of which took on special 
significance as the crisis at Yudam-ni unfolded. 

A finger of the Chosin Reservoir reaches toward Yudam-ni in the 
valley between North and Southeast Ridges. The other four corridors 
radiating from the valley are highway routes. Lieutenant Colonel Roise 
surveyed the westerly road, which leaves Yudam-ni between Northwest 
and Southwest Ridges. His assigned objective encompassed distant 
spurs of these heights, bordering the road about a mile and a half 
west of the village. 2 

The 7th Marines (-) was disposed in perimeter around Yudam-ni on 
terminal hills of four of the five ridges: D and E Companies (attached 

1 2/5 HD, Nov so, 8-9. 
5thMar Op»0 39-50, 26 Nov 50. 



The Chos'm Reservoir Campaign 

to 1/7) on North Ridge, 3/7 on Southwest, and 1/7 on South and 
Southeast. 8 Since the high ground occupied by 3/7 overlooked the 
route of attack and Roise's objective, Colonel Litzenberg 4 later in the 
day specified a new destination for 2/5, a pass ten miles west of Yudam- 
ni. It was a big order, but Litzenberg' s troops would support the 5th 
Marines' outfit by making limited advances along the skylines of North- 
west and Southwest Ridges. With this protection on his flanks initially, 
Roise could concentrate more strength for the drive through the low 
ground. 5 

Nightfall of 26 November was accompanied by an abrupt tempera- 
ture drop to zero degrees Fahrenheit. The north wind screamed across 
the frozen reservoir and lashed the Marines on the valley floor and 
hillsides around Yudam-ni. At 2200, a group of half-frozen company 
commanders gathered within the flapping walls of Roise's blackout tent 
to receive their orders. The attack was to start at 0800 the next morning, 
with 2/5 passing through the 7th Marines in a column of companies. 
Recoil less rifles and 4.2 -inch mortars of the 5 th Marines would sup- 
port the advance, along with First Lieutenant Wayne E. Richards' 2d 
Platoon of Able Company Engineers. Two Corsairs of VMF-312 and 
a spotter plane from VMO-6 were to provide aerial reconnaissance and 
close air support. 

In other wind-blown tents, 7th Regiment officers learned of their mis- 
sions as assigned by Colonel Litzenberg. The 3d Battalion would 
move farther along the crest of Southwest Ridge on 27 November and 
also seize the terminal peak. Hill 1403, of Northwest Ridge across the 
MSR, in order to support 2/5's attack more effectively. Dog and Easy 
Companies were to patrol North Ridge and the west coast of the 
Reservoir, white 1/7 scouted both South and Southeast Ridges and 

* The transport priority given the move of the 5th Matines prevented H&S and Weapons 
( — ) Companies from moving to Yudam-ni. Fox Company moved to Toktong Pass on 
the 27th while How Battery of 3/11 remained at Hagaru to support Fox Company. The 
two rifle companies of 2/7 at Yudam-ni were assigned to 1/7 for operational control. 
MajGen H. L. Litzenberg Comments, 19 and 20 Jul 36; LtCol W. D. Sawyer Comments, 
7 Sept 56. 

* Col Roise states that he was attached to the 7th Marines in the absence of the Com- 
manding Officer, 5th Marines. The record does not indicate a formal attachment. Col 
Litzenberg appears to have acted in his capacity as senior officer present. See Col R. L. 
Murray Comments, n. d.; Col H. S. Roise Comments, n, d.; LtCol H. J. Woessner Com- 
ments, 13 Nov 56. 

' 7thMsr SAR, 20; 2/5 SAR, H; 2/5 HD, Nov 50, 8-9; Litzenberg Comments, 19 and 
20 Jul 56 ; Sawyer Comments, 7 Sep 56. Roise Comments. 

* 2/5 SAR, 14. 


The Cbosin Reservoir Campaign 

their adjoining corridors. Particular attention would be paid to the 
valley running southward between these hill masses, for therein lay 
the vital road to Hagaru. 7 

The Yudara-ni perimeter was quiet throughout the long, frigid night 
of 26-27 November. At dawn the basin and hillsides came alive with 
parka-clad figures stamping and clapping life back into leaden limbs. 
Gradually they began to cluster around small fires to thaw out the 
morning rations and their weapons. 

Companies G and H of 3/7 jumped off in the attack at 0815, the 
former to extend the foothold on Southwest Ridge, the latter to seize 
Hill 1403, terminal height of Northwest Ridge. Led by Captain Leroy 
M. Cooke, How Company advanced unopposed and secured its ob- 
jective by midmorning. s Captain Cooney's Company G moved rapidly 
1200 yards along the crest of Southwest Ridge* and occupied a com- 
manding peak, Hill 1426, at 0845 without meeting opposition. But 
when Cooney resumed the advance, his troops almost immediately came 
under fire from enemy positions on another peak 500 yards away. 

During 3/7 's operations on the high ground the 2d Battalion, 5th 
Marines, had marched out of Yudam-ni and launched the main attack 
along the road. Company F, under Captain Uel D. Peters, led 2/5 as 
it passed beneath die steep walls of Southwest and Northwest Ridges. 
The first objective was a long spur of the latter height, 500 yards across 
a draw from the 7th Marines on Hill 1403. Approaching the mouth 
of the draw on the right of the road, Fox Company was hit by long- 
range small-arms fire from enemy emplacements on the objective. About 
the same time, 0935, a message from the VMO-6 spotter plane told of 
CCF positions all across the front. Captain Peters held up momentarily 
to appraise the situation, and engineers moving behind his outfit began 
to clear the first of nine unmanned enemy roadblocks that obstructed 
the MSR. 

' 7thMar FragO, 1850 26" Nov 50; 7thMar SAR, 20-21. 

'Coo Ice had taken over the company on 12 November, and Lieutenant H, H. Harris 
reverted to ExecO. 

* Unless otherwise stated this section is derived from: 7thMar SAR, 20-21 ; RCT 7 URfit 
5; 3/7 SAR, a. p.; 2/5 SAR, 15-18; 2/5 HD, Nov 50, 9; lstMarDiv SAR, annex SS, 
appendix A (hereafter 1/11 SAR), 8-9; VMF-312 SAR, 15; CO 7thMar msg to CG 
IstMaxDiv, 1945 27 Nov 50; LtCol M. A. Hull Comments, n. d. 


The Chosin Reservoir Campaign 

According to plan, Company F ascended part way up the slopes of 
Hill 1403 and then advanced across the front of the 7th Marines to 
the head of the long draw that set off the Communist-held spur. Simul- 
taneously, 4.2 -inch and 81mm mortar crews positioned their weapons 
along the road to support this envelopment. The flatlands south of 
Yudam-ni trembled as the 105mm howitzers of Lieutenant Colonel 
Harvey A. Feehan's 1st Battalion, 11th Marines, opened up at 1015 
with a 15-minute preparation. 10 

While Company F moved overland to strike at the left (north) 
flank of the CCF position, Captain Samuel S. Smith's Dog Company 
edged forward along the MSR to the mouth of the draw. Like the 
earlier unit, it was met by a hail of bullets. The regimental 4.2-inch 
mortars opened fire on the crest of the spur, and recoilless rifles slammed 
75mm shells into bunkers just now sighted on the forward slopes. 
At 1115, after ground supporting arms had partially neutralized the 
CCF positions, Corsairs of VMF-312 blasted the objective with rockets 
and bombs. 

In the wake of the air strike, First Lieutenant Gerald J. McLaughlin 
led Fox Company's 1st Platoon against the enemy's north flank, the 
rest of the company supporting the assault by fire from Hill 1403. 
Most of the Chinese defenders fled to the west, and McLaughlin's 
troops cleared the northern half of the spur by 1300, capturing three 
Red soldiers. The 2d Platoon, commanded by Second Lieutenant Don- 
ald J. Krabbe, then passed through to secure the southern half, over- 
looking the road. Although the attackers encountered only negligible 
local resistance, they were slowed by heavy machine-gun fire sweeping 
in from a peak 1000 yards farther west. 

During Company F's action on the high ground, Dog Company filed 
around the road bend at the south end of the spur and moved toward a 
valley junction a few hundred yards away. This fork is dominated by 
Sakkat Mountain to the west ; and the Chinese, in order to block the 
Marine advance, had dug tiers of entrenchments on the eastern slopes 
of the massive height. Frontal fire from these positions converged on 
Company D's column. Faced by such formidable resistance and terrain 
Lieutenant Colonel Roise discontinued the attack. At 1430 he ordered 
Fox Company to set up on Northwest Ridge for the night, and Dog 
to deploy defensively across the MSR on a spur of Southwest Ridge. 

10 Feehan, on 15 Nov 50, had relieved It Col Ransom M. Wood who had commanded 
1/tt since its arrival in Korea with the 1st ProvMarBrig on 2 Aug 50, 

Crisis at Yudam-ni 157 

On the crest of the latter, the 3d Battalion, 7th Marines, had found 
progress increasingly costly during the afternoon of 27 November. 
The peak beyond Hill 1426 was occupied by Company G at 1500," 
bringing that unit on line with Dog Company of 2/5 in the low ground 
to the north. Like the 5th Marines' outfit, Company G was now con- 
fronted with the broad crescent of CCF fortifications buttressed by the 
defensive complex on Sakkat Mountain. Machine-gun barrages drove 
the 7th Marines' unit off the hilltop, and Company I of 3/7 rushed for- 
ward from the high ground overlooking Yudam-ni to add its firepower 
in support. Baker Company of 1/7, on patrol in the valley between 
Southwest and South Ridges, ascended into the bullet-swept zone at 
1230 to help out. When it became heavily engaged, elements of Com- 
pany C were ordered forward from the Yudam-ni vicinity as reinforce- 
ment. Thus parts of three battalions, 2/5, 3/7, and 1/7, felt the storm 
of steel and lead on Southwest Ridge throughout the afternoon. 

While fighting raged in an arc from south to west on the 27th, an- 
other danger area was discovered to the north and northeast, complet- 
ing a vast semicircle of known CCF concentrations in proximity to 
Yudam-ni, A patrol from Company D of 2/7, moving over North 
Ridge along the west coast of the reservoir, ran into heavy machine-gun 
and mortar fire about 4000 yards from the village. Marine air struck 
at the entrenchments of an estimated enemy company, and at 1645 the 
patrol withdrew with several casualties to Company D's lines on the 
southern tip of North Ridge. 

At dusk on the 27th a general calm settled over Yudam-ni, broken 
only occasionally by scattered exchanges of small-arms fire. The main 
Marine attack had netted about 1500 yards, placing 2 /5 on the objective 
originally assigned by the regimental commander, Lieutenant Colonel 
Murray, That the Chinese did not allow this battalion to advance three 
more miles, to its new objective and into hopeless entrapment, seems 
inconsistent in view of the CCF plans for the night of 27-28 November. 
The auxiliary attack by 3/7 won 1200 more yards of the crest of South- 
west Ridge, and the occupation of Hill 1403 by How Company of that 
battalion represented a gain of about 2000. 

In a few hours, the Marines would give thanks that their successes 
on 27 November had been modest ones. 

" While returning to the rear to bring tip reinforcements, George Company's commander 
Capt Cooney, was mortally wounded. LtCol M. E. Roach Comments, 24 Jul 56. 


The Chosin Reservoir Campaign 

Marine Dispositions Before CCF Attack 

The units of Yudam-ni will be listed counter-dockwisej beginning with 
those on North Ridge, according to the positions they occupied around 
the perimeter on the night of 27-28 November. North Ridge, bounded 
on the east by the reservoir and on the west by the valley separating 
Northwest Ridge, lay closest to the village and was therefore of imme- 
diate tactical importance. Facing this hill mass from Yudam-ni, one 
sees four distinct terminal heights: Hill 1167 on the right, Hills 1240 
and 1282 in the center, and the giant spur of Hill 1384 on the left. 
Companies D and E of the 7th Marines, occupied Hills 1240 and 1282 
respectively. Since the combined front of these two units was a mile 
wide, they concentrated on their assigned hilltops and relied on periodic 
patrols to span the gaping, 500-yard saddle between. Although both 
flanks of each company dangled "in the air," they were backed by two- 
thirds of the 5 th Marine Regiment in the valley of Yudam-ni. 12 

The 3d Battalion, 5 th Marines, had arrived from the east coast of 
the Chosin Reservoir at noon on the 27th, while the attacks to the west 
were in full progress, Lieutenant Colonel Taplett placed his unit in 
an assembly area at the base of North Ridge, beneath the large, unoc- 
cupied spur leading to Hill 1384. The 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, did 
not complete its move to Yudam-ni from the east side of the reservoir 
until after dark. Lieutenant Colonel John W. Stevens, II, secured for 
the night in the valley below Hills 1282 and 1240; and with Taplett's 
nearby command, 1 /5 thus comprised a formidable reserve behind the 
thin high-ground defenses of Companies D and E of 2/7. 

To the left of North Ridge, going round the clock, Company H of 
3/7 dug in on the crest of Hill 1403, terminal height of Northwest 
Ridge. Farther to the left, in the broad draw through which Company 
F had earlier enveloped the CCF-held spur, Company E of 2/5 took 
up strong blocking positions. The latter unit was not tied in with 
the 7th Marines' troops on Hill 1403, there being a steep and fugged 
gap of about 200 yards on the intervening hillside. Easy Company's 
line extended up the left side of the draw and connected with Foxs 
on the northern tip of the newly won spur. Company F manned the 
remainder of that finger of high ground, its left flank overlooking the 
road separating Southwest Ridge. 

"This section is derived from: SthMar SAR, 19-20 ; 7thMar SAR, 21; 1/5 SAR, 11-12; 
2/5 SAR, 13-18 ; 3/5 SAR, 15. 

Crisis at Yudum-m 


As mentioned before. Company D, 2d Battalion, 5th Marines, occu- 
pied a finger of Southwest Ridge jutting out toward the road and 
directly opposite Fox Company's spur. To the left, but beyond physical 
contact, Companies G and I of the 3d Battalion, 7th Marines, defended 
the topographical crest of Southwest Ridge. As an example of alti- 
tudes and distances involved around the perimeter, the latter company, 
perched atop Hill 1426 (meters) , sat 1200 feet above the valley floor 
at Yudam-ni 13 and at a lineal distance of a mile and a half from the 
village. To its left rear, 2000 yards away on the same hill mass, Com- 
pany A of 1/7 defended a terminal peak, Hill 1294, overlooking the 
broad valley separating South Ridge. A platoon of Company C, 1/7, 
was deployed on the valley floor to block that avenue into Marine ar- 
tillery positions. 

South Ridge, capped by a conical peak jutting 1600 feet skyward, 
points at Yudam-ni and the reservoir like a great arrowhead. Company 
B of 1/7, after returning from the active patrol mentioned earlier, en- 
trenched on the tip, Hill 1276, to cover the deep gorge between South 
and Southeast Ridges. In this narrow ribbon of low ground, the MSR 
from Yudam-ni travels southward four miles before turning abruptly 
east into Toktong Pass. Company C of 1/7, less one platoon, occupied 
a spur of Southeast Ridge near the sharp turn— three miles from the 
Valley of Yudam-ni and five from the village itself. 

Even farther out on a tactical limb was Fox Company of 2/7, which 
had departed Hagaru at noon on 27 November 1 * to take up hilltop posi- 
tions in the center of Toktong Pass. Its mission, like that of Company 
C, was to guard the vulnerable MSR between Hagaru and Yudam-ni. 
But it was seven miles from the friendly perimeter at Hagaru on the 
one side and over two mountainous miles from Company C on the 
other. Fox Company, numerically and geographically, appeared to be 
fair game for some CCF regiment on the prowl — although appearances 
are sometimes deceiving. 

This, then, was the disposition of the 5th and 7th Marines in the 
evening of 27 November: a total of ten understrengrh rifle companies 
of both regiments on the high ground around Yudam-ni; two battalions 
of the 5th in the valley near the village; and two rifle companies, 
Charlie and Fox, of the 7th in isolated positions along the 14-mile 
route to Hagaru. 


The Chos'm Reservoir Campaign 

The regimental command posts of Colonel Litzenberg and Lieutenant 
Colonel Murray were located at Yudam-ni along with the usual head- 
quarters elements, except for the Antitank Company of the 7th Marines, 
at Hagaru. Also at Hagaru were Lieutenant Colonel Randolph S, D. 
Lockwood's headquarters of 2/7, in and Weapons Company (-) of that 
battalion. For this reason, Companies D and E, on Hills 1240 and 1282 
at Yudam-ni, came under temporary control of 1/7. 

Despite the lack of tanks, 16 the Yudam-ni perimeter encompassed 
an impressive array of Marine supporting arms. The 1st and 4th Bat- 
talions, together with Batteries G and I of the 3d, represented almost 
three- fourths of the fire power of the 11th Regiment. The 48 howitzers 
— thirty 105mm and eighteen 155mm— were emplaced in the expansive 
flats generally south of the village, in the direction of South and South- 
east Ridges. In position to the north were the 75mm recoilless rifles 
of the 5th Marines and the 4.2-inch mortar companies of both infantry 

The Yudam-ni lines bristled with enough firepower to give any com- 
mander confidence, but the supply situation was not reassuring. Al- 
though Captain Robert A. Morehead and a detachment from the 1st 
Service Battalion arrived during the 27th to begin establishment of a 
division dump, the supply level was low. The dumps of the 5th and 
7th Marines contained about 3 days' rations, 3 days' POL, and 2 U/F 
of small arms ammunition in addition to amounts in the hands of the 
troops. Very little artillery ammunition was available beyond that held 
by the firing batteries. During the 27th Colonel Litzenberg sent his 
S-4, Major Maurice E. Roach, to Hagaru to arrange for the dispatching 
of about five truckloads each of rations, POL, and ammunition. They 
arrived late on the evening of the same day — the last supplies to get 
through from Hagaru. That same evening Lieutenant Colonel Beall, 
commanding officer of the 1st Motor Transport Battalion, led all the 
organic vehicles (except 40-50) of the 5th and 7th Marines back to 
Hagaru with the intent of returning them the following day loaded. 
The Chinese, who had already invested the road, for some reason per- 
mitted the trucks to pass. Beall reached Hagaru without incident. The 
trucks were never able to return. 17 

11 LtCol Lock wood had relieved Maj Sawyer as CO 2/7 on 5 Nov. 

" Four M-4 tanks of the Provisional Tank Platoon had attempted to come through 
from Hagaru but gave up the attempt when all slid off the road. Later on the 27th one 
M-26" succeeded in completing the trip, but the Chinese cut the road before the others 
could follow. IstTkBn, SAR, 21. 

" 7thMar SAR, 42-41; SthMar SAR, 45-50; IstMarDiv SAR, annex FF (lstServBri) : 
IstMTBn SAR, 9 ; Roach Comments, 24 Jul 56. 

Crhh at Yudam-ni 

The Battle of Northwest 

At 1830, two hours after the looming mass of Sakkat Mountain had 
blotted out the sun on 27 November, Yudam-ni was pitch black. The 
temperature dropped to 20 degrees below zero. 16 

On Northwest Ridge the infantrymen of 3/7 and 2/5 slowly grew 
numb from the penetrating cold. Trigger fingers, though heavily 
gloved, ached against the brittle steel of weapons, and parka hoods be- 
came encrusted with frozen moisture. In the cumbersome shoe-pacs, 
perspiration-soaked feet gradually became transformed into lumps of 
biting pain. 

When men are immobilized for hours in such temperatures, no 
amount of clothing will keep them warm. Yet, even more disturbing to 
the Marines on the Yudam-ni perimeter was the effect of the weather 
on carbines and BARs. These weapons froze to such a degree that 
they became unreliable or, in some cases, completely unserviceable. 
The M-l rifle and Browning machine guns showed stubborn streaks 
but retained their effectiveness, provided they had been cared for 

While the Marines sat in their holes and cursed the frigid night, 
the quiet hills around them came alive with thousands of Red Chinese 
on the march. Unseen and unheard, the endless columns of quilted 
green wound through valleys and over mountain trails leading toward 
the southern tips of North and Northwest Ridges. These were the 
assault battalions of the 79th and 89th CCF Divisions. With seven 
other divisions they comprised Red China's 9th Army Group led by 
Sung Shiivlun, one of the best field commanders in the CCF. Lin Pao, 
commanding the 3d Field Army, had dispatched Sung's army group 
to northeast Korea specifically to destroy the 1st Marine Division. The 
knockout blow, aimed at the northwest arc of the Yudam-ni perimeter, 
amounted to a massive frontal assault, Another CCF division, the 
59th, had completed a wide envelopment to the south, driving in toward 
South Ridge and Toktong Pass to cut the MSR between Hagaru and 
Yudam-ni. 10 

"Unless otherwise noted, this section is derived from 7thMar SAR, 21, n. p.; RCT 7 
VRpi 5; 2/5 SAR, 17-18; 2/5 HD Nov SO, 9; CO 7thMar msgs to CG istMarDiv, 2253 
27 Nov 50, 1000 and 1250 28 Nov 50; Capt Samuel Jasttijka, ''Easy Alley, 1 ' Marine Corps 
Gazette, xxxv, no. 5 (May 51), 15-18; Maj S. Jasfcilka Comments, n. d. 

IstMatDiv SAX, 31-32; G-2 SAR, 15, 30-31; CCF Army Histories, 13, 21. 

Crisis at Yttdam-m 

This was the main effort of the CCF in northeast Korea: three divi- 
sions against two regiments of Marines. And in addition to the ad- 
vantage of mass, the Reds held the trump cards of mobility and sur- 
prise. They enjoyed superior mobility because they were unencumbered 
by heavy weapons and hence could use primitive routes of approach 
in the darkness. They had the advantage of surprise because their 
practice of marching by night and hiding by day had concealed their 
approach to a large degree from UN air observation. To offset these 
odds, the outnumbered Marines would have to rely on superior fire- 
power, command of the air, and another weapon called esprit. 

By 2100, Northwest Ridge was crawling with Chinese only a few hun- 
dred yards from the positions of Campanies E and F, 5th Marines, and 
Company H, 7th Marines. The enemy troops, padding silently in their 
rubber sneakers, had as yet given no hint of their presence. To divert 
attention, the Red commander sent a patrol against 2/5's roadblock on 
the MSR between Northwest and Southwest Ridges. Troops of Com- 
pany D, 5th Marines, exchanged grenades with the Chinese and killed 
two of them. The remainder they quickly dispersed with mortar fire. 

Simultaneously with the thrust at the roadblock, small enemy teams 
probed Fox Company's line on the spur of Northwest Ridge, vanishing 
into the night after each light contact. These disturbances in the center 
of 2/5's zone enabled CCF infiltrators and grenadiers on the northern 
tip of the spur to crawl undetected within a few yards of the limiting 
point between Company F and Company E on the right. Bugle calls 
cut through the darkness, and the grenadiers began heaving their mis- 
siles while the submachine gunners opened up. The din of this first 
attempt to unnerve the defenders lasted several minutes. Then came a 
sustained mortar bombardment of Marine front lines. While the shells 
rained down, the Chinese opened fire with crew-served automatic 
weapons emplaced all across Northwest Ridge. 

At 2125 the mortar eruptions began to walk toward the Marine rear. 
Whistles screeched, enemy machine guns fell silent, and the first Chin- 
ese assault waves hurled themselves against the juncture of Companies 
E and F. The enemy attacked on an extremely narrow front in order 
to maintain control. His troops advanced in column within grenade 
range, then deployed abruptly into skirmish lines that flailed the Ma- 
tine positions ceaselessly and without regard to losses. 

The machine guns and rifles of Companies E and F piled the attackers 
in grotesque heaps up and down the front, but the pressure of human 


The Chosin Reservoir Campaign 

tonnage was unremitting. Ultimately, the Reds broke through on the 
northern tip of the spur, where the two units were joined , They poured 
troops into the gap, and as they attempted to rollback the newly exposed 
flanks, they overran part of Fox Company's right wing platoon. Captain 
Samuel Jaskilka, commanding Easy Company in the draw, dispatched a 
light machine-gun section and a squad from his 3d Platoon (deployed 
in the rear) to reinforce his 1st Platoon at the edge of the break- 
through. The latter unit, under Second Lieutenant Jack L. Nolan, held 
firm and bent back its left to prevent encroachment on the rear. Staff 
Sergeant Russell J, Borgomainero, of the 1st Platoon, deployed the 
reinforcements to contain the penetration, while 2/5's 81mm mortars 
laid barrages on the salient. 

At 2215, as the attack against Companies E and F was reaching its 
height, Lieutenant Colonel Roise ordered H&S Company of 2/5 to 
deploy for the immediate defense of his command post, The Chinese, 
blocked in their attempts to get behind Easy Company, continued to 
stab at the rear of Fox, If their envelopment succeeded, they could 
swarm over the headquarters and supporting arms positions of the 2d 

Roise' s precaution proved unnecessary. As fast as the Red commander 
sent troops into the salient, they were cut down by mortar, machine-gun, 
and rifle fire. The few who did worm their way into Marine supporting 
positions died in individual combat. At 2230, on the right of Company 
E's front, the 2d Platoon turned its machine guns on a native hut 200 
yards up the draw and set it ablaze. The brilliant illumination exposed 
all CCF troops in the narrow corridor and on the adjoining slopes; and 
the Marines commenced a turkey shoot that ended at 2400 with the 
virtual annihilation of the main enemy force. 

The Chinese maintained their grip on the northern tip of the spur, 
however, and fought off patrols from Easy Company trying to re-estab- 
hsh contact with Fox. Since the gap remained, leaving the enemy in 
position to fire on the Marine rear, Roise shifted the reserve platoon of 
Company D to Fox Company's side of the salient. This redeployment, 
in conjunction with Company E's earlier action on the other side, con- 
verted the penetration area into a gantlet for rhe Chinese. Already 
weakened by casualties numbering in the hundreds, the Red commander 
apparently wrote off the salient as a net loss, for he never used it again. 

Chinese Seize Hill 1403 

At 2135, just as the first assault waves were pounding 2/5's front, 
the vanguard of another enemy force began to feel out the lines of 
Company H, 3/7, on Hill 1403 to the north. Captain Cooke's three 
platoons were deployed in an arc from the road to the peak of the hill 
to protect the line of communication to the valley of Yudam-ni. Out of 
physical contact with all friendly elements, How Company was assail- 
able from every direction, as the Chinese quickly discovered, 20 

Following a half hour of lightning probes, the enemy launched a 
strong attack against First Lieutenant Elmer A. Krieg's platoon on the 
right front. Communications with Cooke's CP went out almost imme- 
diately, and in the space of a few minutes the Marine right flank col- 
lapsed under the weight of CCF numbers. Krieg shifted his remaining 
men to the left and joined Second Lieutenant Paul E. Denny's platoon. 

At the. company CP on the reverse slope, Captain Cooke and his for- 
ward observers radioed for all available supporting arms. The prompt 
barrages by artillery and mortars in the valley stopped the Communists 
on the right half of the summit and enabled Cooke to reorganize his 
forward platoons. As the supporting fires lifted, he personally led an 
assault to restore the right flank. But the CCF machine guns and gren- 
a des smashed the counterattack, and Cooke was cut down at the head 
of his men. 

Second Lieutenant James M. Mitchell, executive officer, temporarily 
took command of Company H. When word of Cooke's death reached 
3/7's CP, Lieutenant Colonel William F. Harris 21 dispatched Lieutenant 
Harris (no relation), recently returned to duty after illness, to take 
over the beleaguered unit. 

The younger Harris, who had been out of action since shortly after 
the "How Hill" battle in early November, safely ascended the enemy- 
infested slopes of Hill 1403 in the darkness. About midnight he reached 
How Company's positions and found all of Cooke's officers wounded 
hut one, Lieutenant Newton. The platoons of Krieg and Denny were 
badly depleted, but Harris moved Newton's platoon from the left 

- 1 , 

* Unless otherwise stated the sources for this section ate: 7thMar SAR; RCT 7 URbt 6; 
3/7 SAR, n. p.; 2/5 HD, Nov 50, 9-10; 2/5 SAR, 18-19; CO 7thMar msgs to CG 
istMarDiv, 0810 and 1000 28 Nov 30 ; Jaskilka, "Easy Alley," 18-19; Capt M. P. Newton 
Comments, n. d. 

*LtCol Harris, son of MajGen Field Harris, had relieved Maj Roach on 11 Nov. 


The Choiin Reservoir Campaign 

flank to the right. Newton's men regained enough ground in a counter- 
attack to cement the company's position. 

After these first attacks against 2/5 and H/7 over the two-mile 
breadth of Northwest Ridge, the Chinese remained generally inactive 
for a period of about two hours. They had paid heavily for minor gains 
— so heavily that fresh battalions were called from reserve to stamp out 
the Marine resistance on the tip of the ridge. And at 0300, several 
hundred CCF riflemen, grenadiers, and submachine gunners commenced 
the second general assault, striking at 2/5 and Company H simultane- 

In the low ground at the center of the two-mile front, Jaskilka's Easy 
Company threw a curtain of machine-gun fire across the draw in the 
path of 300 Chinese advancing fron tally. The first enemy ranks marched 
into the fire lanes and were mowed down like rows of grain. The CCF 
soldiers in subsequent formations apparently viewed the grisly, corpse- 
strewn corridor with misgivings, for they stopped several hundred yards 
up the narrow valley and took cover. Thereafter, the main fighting in 
Company E's zone involved long-range exchanges of machine-gun and 
mortar fire, although clashes at close quarters occasionally flared up 
on the flanks. 

Approximately 200 Communist troops had concentrated meanwhile 
against Fox Company on the spur to the left, where the ground afforded 
more cover and space for maneuver. Stumbling over a carpet of their 
own dead, the Reds thrust repeatedly at the center of the Marine line. 
They inflicted many casualties on the defenders and ultimately overran 
two machine-gun positions, But this was the sum total of their success; 
and fighting on the north half of the spur, at the edge of the gap be- 
tween Companies E and F, continued sporadically for the rest of the 
night with neither side gaining any appreciable advantage. 

On the right of the 2d Battalion, the second CCF onslaught had struck 
the front and both flanks of Company H on Hill 1403. Human cannon 
fodder of Red China was hurled against the Marine positions for a full 
hour, but Lieutenant Harris' command held. H Company's roadblock, 
commanded by Sergeant Vick, decisively beat off a Chinese attack in the 
valley; and at 0400 Lieutenant Colonel Harris ordered the hard pressed 
company to pull back toward the rear of Easy Company, 2/5. Two 
hours later How Company completed its fighting withdrawal. 

The loss of Hill 1403 posed a grave threat to the whole defensive 
network around the village. Not only were the Chinese now ideally 

Crisis at Yudam-ni 


situated to strike at the rear of 2/5 and sever it from the two regiments, 
but in sufficient strength they could attack the rear and flanks of the 
Marine units on North and Southwest Ridges. Moreover, at dawn, they 
would be looking down the throats of some 2000 Marines on the valley 

Fighting at 3/ ?s CP 

The partially successful assault on Northwest Ridge involved two 
regiments, the 266th and 267th, of the 89th CCF Division. Operating 
abreast of this force, the 79th Division had meanwhile advanced over 
the rugged spine of North Ridge toward the two isolated companies of 
the 2d Battalion, 7th Marines, occupying terminal Hills 1282 and 
1240 of that huge land mass. Elements of the 79th Division's three 
regiments were in the fore, and each regiment was apparently disposed 
in a column of battalions. Facing south toward the Marine positions 
on North Ridge, the CCF order of battle, with probable objectives as- 
signed, was as follows: 

237th Regt 235th Regt 236th Regt 

Hill 1384 Hill 1240 Hill 1167 

(Unoccupied) (D/7) (Unoccupied) 

For reasons unknown, the commander of the 235th Regiment did 
not include Hill 1282 in his plan for seizing the high ground above 
Yudam-ni, He ordered his 1st Battalion to take only Hill 1240, and 
the commanding officer of that unit in turn assigned the mission to bis 
!st and Special Duty Companies. After these two outfits had seized 
the objective, the 2d and 3d Companies would pass through and, in 
conjunction with other CCF forces in the locale, X . . annihilate the 
enemy at Yudam-ni." 33 

a ATIS, Enemy Documents: Korean Operations, Issue 84, 38. Except where otherwise 
noted, this section is based on: Ibid., 26-43; LtCo! R. D. Taplett interv, 3 May 56; tstLt 

T. Bey Itr to Maj A. C. Geer, 26 Jun 52 ; RCT 7 URpt 5; CO 7thMar msg to CG IstMar 
1000 28 Nov 50; 7thMat SAR, 21 ; CO SthMar msg to CG IstMarDiv, 0730 28 Nov 
m 3/5 SAR, 13-14; Hull Comments; Capt }. H. Cahill Itr, 3 Jul 56, The ATIS transla- 
tion contains a number of detailed and apparently accurate critiques of small unit actions. 
An earlier translation is to be found in ATIS, Enemy Documents; Korean Operations, 
W 66, 87-134. 


The Chosin Reservoir Campaign 

Approaching the terminal high ground in darkness, the 1st Battalion, 
235th Regiment, veered off its course and mistakenly ascended a spur 
toward Hill 1282. The 3d Battalion, 236th Regiment, keeping contact 
as it advanced on the left, participated in the error and wound up at 
the foot of Hill 1240. Thus confronted with this precipitous mass 
instead of low, gently sloping Hill 1167, the 3d Battalion floundered 
for several hours and did not take part in the first attack against the 
Marine perimeter. It did, however, send out the usual screen of 

At 2200, submachine gunners and grenadiers of the 1st and Special 
Duty Companies, 1/235, commenced the preliminaries against Com- 
pany E, 7th Marines on Hill 1282, believing they were engaging a 
Marine platoon on Hill 1240. The harassing force was driven off after 
failing to disrupt the Marine defenses. Almost two hours later, at 
2345, Company D of 2/7 reported enemy infiltration on Hill 1240 a 
thousand yards to the east. Both Marine companies cancelled the 
patrols scheduled for the long saddle connecting their positions and 
went on a 100% alert. 

Captain Phillips, commanding Easy Company, had arranged two 
platoons in perimeter around the summit of Hill 1282, and the third 
he had deployed to the right rear, on a spur that dipped toward Yudam- 
ni. At midnight, after a period of silence across the company front, 
the initial CCF assault wave slammed into the northeastern arc of the 
perimeter, manned by First Lieutenant Yancey's platoon. Marine fire- 
power blunted this frontal attack, and the Reds tried to slip around the 
east side of the hilltop. They ran head-on into First Lieutenant Bey's 
platoon entrenched on the spue and wece thrown back. 

Resorting to grinding tactics, the Chinese repeatedly assaulted Com- 
pany E's position from midnight to 0200. Whistles and bugles blared 
over the reaches of North Ridge, and the charging squads of infantry 
met death stoically, to the tune of weird Oriental chants. When one 
formation was cut to pieces by machine-gun fire and grenades, another 
rose out of the night to take its place. By 0200, as the first attack began 
to taper off, the northeastern slopes of Hill 1282 lay buried under a 
mat of human wreckage. An hour later, the 1st and Special Duty Com- 
panies of the 1st Battalion, 235th CCF Regiment, had ceased to exist, 
having lost nearly every man of their combined total of over 200. 
Company E's casualties had been heavy, but the Marines still held 
Hill 1282. 


The Cbosin Reservoir Campaign 

On Hill 1240, a thousand yards to the east, infiltrators of the 3d Bat- 
talion, 236th CCF Regiment, probed Dog Company's perimeter while 
Easy was under attack. By 0030, some of the harassing parties had side- 
slipped through the saddle separating Hill 1282 and opened fire on 
the 5th and 7th Regimental headquarters in Yudam-ni. 

The sniping from the slopes of North Ridge did not surprise the 
Marines in the valley, for they had long been preparing for a possible 
threat from that direction. Early in the evening, Lieutenant Colonel 
Taplett had re-deployed 3/5 from an assembly area just north of the 
village to a broad tactical perimeter in the same locale. Companies H 
and I, the latter on the right, he positioned facing Northwest Ridge 
— specifically Hill 1403. Two platoons of Company G held blocking 
positions near the base of Southwest Ridge, and the third manned an 
outpost on the slopes of that high ground. At the bottom of North 
Ridge, in the draw between Hill 1282 and the spur of 1384, Taplett 
established his CP with H&S and Weapons Companies providing 
local security. 

When 3/5 's commander learned that the spur of Hill 1384 was 
unoccupied, he dispatched a platoon of Company I to an outpost 
position 500 yards up the slope. About 300 yards behind the Item 
Company unit, on a portion of the spur directly above the battalion CP, 
a platoon of South Korean police deployed with two heavy machine 

At 2045, fifteen minutes before any other unit on the Yudam-ni 
reported a contact, the outpost platoon of Item Company began receiv- 
ing fire from above. This harassment, probably involving advance 
elements of the 237th CCF Regiment, continued sporadically for sev- 
eral hours, throughout the period of the first Communist attacks against 
other fronts. 

In the valley at 2120, a few men of How Company, 7th Marines, 
entered 3/5 's positions barefooted and partially clothed. Taplett, per- 
sonally noting the time of their arrival, questioned them in the battalion 
aid station, and they told how their 60mm mortar position on Hill 1403 
had been seized by the Chinese. 23 

The battalion commander returned to his CP, and after listening to 
the far-off din of the initial Communist attacks, placed his perimeter 
on a 100% alert at 0115. Half an hour later, the Item Company platoon 
on the spur of Hill 1384 reported an increase in enemy fire coming 

"MajGen H. L. Litienbcrg Comments, 20 Jul 56. 

Crisis at Ytidam-ni 171 

from above. A message from H/7 next warned that CCF troops were 
moving around Hill 1403 to cut the MSR. Company I observed activity 
in that quarter shortly afterwards, and at 0218 opened fire on an enemy 
platoon, which promptly retracted. 

A few minutes later, a company — possibly two companies — of Chi- 
nese swept down the spur of Hill 1384, overran the Item Company 
platoon outpost, and continued on towards the police platoon. The 
South Koreans, after inflicting heavy casualties on the Reds with their 
two machine guns, vacated the high ground. Enemy troops then spread 
out along the crest and poured plunging fire into H&S and Weapons 
Companies defending the draw. 

Weapons Company, on the far side of the depression, held its ground, 
but H&S, directly under the gun, shortly fell back across the MSR. 
Taplett's CP was left in a no man's land, with enemy bullets raining 
down out of the night and Marine fire whistling back from across the 
draw and road. Upon learning of the withdrawal, the battalion com- 
mander elected to remain in the tent in order to keep telephone contact 
with his rifle companies, which were as yet uninvolved. He did not 
consider the situation too serious, and it seemed as though the police 
platoon's machine guns had taken the sting out of the enemy assault. 

Except for a few individuals, the Chinese did not descend from the 
spur. Nor did they direct much fire at Taplett's blackout tent, which 
they probably took to be unoccupied. Inside, the battalion commander 
studied his maps, received reports and issued instructions over the field 
phone while his S-3, Major Thomas A. Durham, sat nearby with pistol 
drawn. Major John J. Canney, the executive officer, left the CP to 
retrieve H&S Company and was killed as he approached the MSR. 
Private First Class Louis W. Swinson, radio operator, whose instrument 
had proved unreliable in the severe cold, took position outside the tent 
a nd covered the approaches with his rifle. This unique situation — a 
battalion commander under fire in an exposed position while his rifle 
companies lay peacefully entrenched several hundred yards away- 
lasted for over an hour. 

The Battle of North Ridge 

At approximately 0300, when Taplett, Durham, and Swinson began 
the 7pth CCF Division launched another assault on 


The Cboshi Reservoir Campaign 

North Ridge (see Map 16) . 2 * As a result of the enemy's first attack, 
and in anticipation of the second, Colonel Murray earlier had moved 
elements of the 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, into posirion behind 3/5. 

Second Lieutenant Nicholas M. Trapnell's 1st Platoon of Company A 
left the battalion assembly area in die valley at 0100 and started up the 
steep incline of Hill 1282. Climbing the icy slopes by day was difficult 
enough, but darkness and a minus-20-degree temperature made it a 
gruelling and perilous ordeal. Trapnell's outfit did not reach the crest 
until after 0300, when the CCF assault was at the height of its fury 
and Company E was facing imminent annihilation. The Able Company 
unit moved into position with Lieutenant Bey's platoon on the spur 
jutting back from the peak. As yet, the full force of the Chinese drive 
had not spread to this area. 

The Red commander of the 1st Battalion, 235th Regiment, used his 
3d Company for the second attack against the cap of Hill 1282. With 
the few survivors of the 1st and Special Duty Companies attached, the 
fresh unit probably numbered about 125 troops. In squads of eight to 
ten, the Chinese struck again and again at the perimeter on the summit, 
and the two depleted platoons of Easy Company dwindled to a mere 
handful of tired, desperate Marines, First Lieutenant Robert E. Sny- 
der's 3d Platoon of A/5, having been sent up from the valley shortly 
after Trapnell's outfit, arrived as reinforcements. Snyder did not have 
contact with Bey and Trapnell, whose platoons were still intact, so he 
integrated his men with the remnants of the two platoons on the peak. 

Both sides suffered crippling losses during the close fighting on 
Hill 1282. The Reds finally drove a wedge between the Marine defend- 
ers on the summit and the platoons of Bey and Trapnell on the spur. 
According to Bey: 

It soon became obvious that a penetration had been made to our left. The 
positions atop the hill and the Command Post area were brightly illuminated 
by flares and other explosions. By this time [approximately 0400] nothing 
but Chinese could be heard on the telephone in the command post and my 
Platoon Sergeant, Staff Sergeant Daniel M. Murphy, requested permission 
to take what men we could spare in an attempt to close the gap between the 
left flank of the platoon and the rest of the company. I told him to go ahead 
and do what he could, 20 

"Unless otherwise noted, this section is derived from: 1/5 SAR, 12-13; 1/3 HD, 
Nov iO; 7thMar SAR, 21 ; 7thMar URpt 5; CO 7thMar msg to CG IstMarDiv, 1000 28 Nov 
50; Murray Comments; Hull Comments; Cdr J. H, Craven Comments, 24 Aug 56; 
Maj W~. E. Kerrigan Itr, 7 Sep 56; Bey [tr, 26 Jun 52; Capt E. E. Collins Comments, 
19 Jun 56; IstU R, E, Snyder Comments, 15 Sep 56. 

* Bey Itr, 26 Jun 52, 

174 The Choun Reservoir Campaign 

Meanwhile, the center and reat of Easy Company's perimeter was 
reduced to the chaos of a last stand. Yancey, already wounded, was hit 
again as he tried to reorganize the few Marine survivors on the peak. 
First Lieutenant Leonard M. Clements, the other platoon leader, fell 
wounded as did First Lieutenant William J. Schreier of the mortar 
section and Lieutenant Snyder. Captain Phillips, hurling grenades in 
the midst of the melee, was killed. His executive officer, First Lieuten- 
ant Raymond O. Ball, took command of Company E, shouting out 
encouragement as he lay immobilized by two wounds. He was hit 
several more times before he lapsed into unconsciousness and died 
after reaching the aid station. Lieutenant Snyder took command. 

By 0500, CCF infantrymen of the 3d Company, 1/235, occupied the 
summit of Hill 1282, still believing it to be Hill 1240. The remnants 
of the platoons of Yancey, Clements, and Snyder had been driven to 
die reverse slope in the west, while the units of Trapnell and Bey clung 
to the crest of the southeastern spur, overlooking Yudam-ni. Up to 
this point, Chinese casualties on Hill 1282 probably numbered about 
250, with Marine losses approximating 150. Easy Company had been 
reduced to the effective strength of a rifle platoon (split in two), and 
the pair of A/5 platoons paid with upwards of 40 killed and wounded 
during the brief time on the battle line; only six effectives remained of 
Snyder's platoon. 

The danger from enemy-held Hill 1282 was compounded by the 
success of the 3d Battalion, 236th Regiment on Hill 1240 to the east- 
At about 0105 the Chinese who had previously been content only to 
make probing attacks on Captain Hull's Dog Company shifted to a 
full-scale assault. Sergeant Othmar J. Reller's platoon, holding the 
northwest portion of the company perimeter, beat off three attacks 
before being overrun at about 0230. First Lieutenant Richard C. Web- 
ber, the machine gun platoon leader, attempted to plug the gap with 
the available reinforcements but was prevented by a fire fight outside 
the Company CP. First Lieutenant Edward M. Seeburger's platoon 
holding the perimeter on the right (east) was under too heavy an 
attack to extend to the left and tie in with Webber. The Chinese over- 
ran Hull's CP at about 0300, and he ordered Seeburger and First Lieu- 
tenant Anthony J. Sota, commanding the rear platoon, to reorganize 
at the foot of Hill 1240. 

Captain Hull, wounded, his command cut to the size of a few squads, 
rallied his troops on the hillside and led a counterattack against the 

Crisis at Yudam-ni 


crest. The surprised Chinese recoiled and the Marines won a small 
foothold. Then the enemy smashed back from the front, right flank, 
and right rear. Hull was wounded again but continued in action as 
his hasty perimeter diminished to the proportions of a squad position, 
With the approach of dawn, he had only 16 men left who could fight. 
The enemy was on the higher ground to his front, on both flanks, and 
°n the slopes in his rear. 


Encirclement of Company C of RCT~j — Fox Company at Tok- 
{ ong Pass — Marine Counterattacks on North Ridge — Deadlock 
on Hill 1240— The Fight for Northwest Ridge— Second Night's 
Attacks on Fox Hill— Not Enough Tents for Casualties— The 
Turning Point of 30 November 

OF the marine artillery units at Yudam-ni, those most directly 
imperiled by CCF gains on North Ridge were Major Parry's 3d 
Battalion and Battery K of the 4th. The latter, under First Lieutenant 
Robert C Messman, lay beneath the southeastern spur of Hill 1282, 
having gone into position at 2100 on 27 November. Rearward of King 
Battery, 3/11 was positioned below the steep slopes of Hill 1240 
w here its 105 s had fired in direct support of the 7th Marines on 26 
a nd 27 November (see Map 12). 1 

The 1st Battalion, 11th Marines, which had arrived at Yudam-ni 
early on the 27 th to support the 5 th Regiment, was emplaced in the 
Valley between the tips of South and Southwest Ridges. Major William 
McReynolds, commanding the 4th Battalion, reached the perimeter 
w 'th his outfit later, He had two batteries in action by 1900 and all 
three by 2300 on the low ground separating South and Southeast 
Midges. Battery K, firing under the direction of 1/11 pending the 
arrival of the parent unit, then reverted to McReynolds' control, 
day. ' ^ / Jj&QSj 

The TD-14 bulldozers of the 11th Marines had proved to be no 
^atch for the eight-inch frostline around the Reservoir, with the result 
that all batteries and secur 

; 4, (hereafter 4/11 SAR), 5. 



The Cbosin Reservoir 

like flatlands. Incoming mortar fire harassed the artillerymen through- 
out the day of 27 November, and after dark CCF flat trajectory weapons 
stepped up the tempo of bombardment. Marine casualties in the valley 
were light, however, for the enemy gunners seemed unable to group 
their erratic pot shots into effective barrages. 2 

It was the imminent threat of Communist infantry attack from North 
Ridge that weighed down on die artillerymen of the llth Regiment 
during the predawn hours of 28 November. Since the beginning of the 
CCF onslaught, they had been firing their howitzers almost ceaselessly 
in a 180-degree arc, and ammunition stocks were fast dwindling to a 
critical level. Their gun flashes providing brilliant targets for enemy 
infiltrators, they could reasonably expect a full-scale assault in the 
event of the dislodgment of Easy and Dog Companies from Hills 1282 
and 1240. The effect of countermoves by Colonels Litzenberg and 
Murray would not be known until after dawn, and meanwhile the 
Marine gunners kept on firing their howitzers while the black outline 
of North Ridge loomed ever more menacing. 

Encirclement of Company C of RCT-j 

While the 79th and 8pth CCF Divisions pounded the northwest arc of 
the Yudam-ni perimeter during the night of 27-28 November, the 
59th completed its wide end-sweep to the southeast and moved against 
the 14-mile stretch of road to Hagaru. At the moment the Communist 
effort in that quarter could be considered a secondary attack, but if 
ever a target fulfilled all the qualifications of a prime objective, it was 
this critical link in the MSR — the very lifeline to most of the 1st Marine 
Division's infantry and artillery strength. 

During the 27th Captain Wilcox's Baker Company of the 7th Ma- 
rines patrolled along South Ridge. As darkness fell, it was heavily 
engaged and incumbered with a number of litter casualties. With the 
permission of the regimental commander, Lieutenant Colonel Davis 
led Captain John F. Morris's Charlie Company (-) down the MSR to 
positions across the road from Hill 1419. Aided by Charlie Company! 
Baker was then able to withdraw and return to Yudam-ni with Davis 
while Morris and his reduced company took up positions on Hill 1419-' 

He deployed his two rifle platoons and 60mm mortar section in 3 

SAR, 8; 4/n SAR, 5; LtCol W. McReynolds interv, 26 Nov 56, 
' Col R. G. Davis Comments, 30 Nov 56. 

Fox Hill 

descent on the lower slopes of the eastern spur, facing the distant crest. 
At 0230, five hours after Yudam-ni came under attack, a CCF force 
descended from the high ground and struck the right flank * 
, After overrunning part of First Lieutenant Jack A. Chabek's platoon 
and inflicting heavy casualties, the Reds lashed out at the left flank 
°f the crescent-shaped defense. Here Staff Sergeant Earle J. Payne's 
| platoon, less one squad in an outpost on higher ground, bent under 
: die weight of the attack and was soon in danger of being driven out of 
r position. Captain Morris reinforced the platoons on each flank with 
i men from his headquarters and the mortar section. The reshuffling 
r yas accomplished in the nick of time and just barely tipped the scales 
j in favor of the defenders. A seesaw battle raged until after dawn on 
the 28th when, with the help of artillery fire from Yudam-ni, the Ma- 
rines drove the Chinese back into the hills. 
Although the critical pressure eased at daybreak, Company C re- 
] m ained pinned down by enemy fire coming from every direction, includ- 
ing the crest of Hill 1419 directly above. The Chinese were in absolute 
control of the MSR to the south, toward Toktong Pass, and to die north, 
in the direction of Yudam-ni. Morris had taken about 40 casualties — 
a dangerously high proportion, since he had only two of his diree rifle 
: platoons. His radio had been knocked out by enemy bullets, and the 
j 6Girim mortar section was left with but a few rounds of ammunition. 

For want of communication, he could get no help from the Marine 
; Corsairs on station overhead. 

The outpost squad from Payne's platoon could not be contacted in 
jj* position on the higher slopes of Hill 1419. Corporal Curtis J. 
Kiesling, who volunteered to search for the lost unit, was killed by 
CCF machine-gun fire as he attempted to scale the rugged incline. 
Other men of Company C repeatedly exposed themselves in order to 
, drag wounded comrades to the relative safety of a draw leading down 
, to the MSR. 

Surrounded and outnumbered, Morris had no alternative but to await 
| help f rom Yudam-ni. He contracted his perimeter on the hillside east 
W the road, and from this tiny tactical island, for the rest of the morn- 
!n g> his men watched Communist troops jockey for position around a 
360-degree circle. 

* The following section, unless otherwise noted, is derived from; Geer, The New Breed, 
8S-J 90; Lynn Montross, "Ridgeuinneis of Toktong Puss," Marine Corps Gazette, xxxvii, 
"°- 5 (May 53), 16-23; 7thMar ISUM 67; and 7thMar msg to CG IstMarDiv, 1000 
« Nov 50. 

180 The Chosin Reservoir Campaign 

Fox Company at Toktong Pass 

Where Morris had taken a reduced infantry company into its lonelj 
assignment on the MSR, Captain William E. Barber went into position 
at Toktong Pass on the 27th with a heavily reinforced outfit. 8 His Fo* 
Company of 2/7, augmented by heavy machine gun and 81mm mortal 
sections of Weapons Company, numbered 240 officers and men. A' 
the midway point of the pass, Barber chose an isolated hill just north 
of the MSR for bis company perimeter. He placed the 3d Platoon (Firs' 
Lieutenant Robert C. McCarthy) on the summit, facing generally north, 
with the 1st (First Lieutenant John M, Dunne) on the right and tht 
2d (First Lieutenant Elmer G. Peterson) on the left. The 3d Platoon 
formed a hilltop perimeter with two squads forward and the third in 
reserve to the rear. Tied in on each flank, the 1st and 2d Platoons 
stretched down the respective hillsides and bent back toward the MSE- 
These two were connected on the reverse slope by company headquai' 
ters and the rocket squad. Just below, at the base of the hill next W 
the road, were Barber's CP together with the 81mm and 60mm mortal 
sections. All machine guns, including the heavies from Weapons Com- 
pany, were emplaced with the rifle platoons. 

During the first half of the night of 27-28 November, Toktong Pass 
rumbled with the reverberations of truck convoys — the final serials of 
1/5 and 4/11 outbound for Yudam-ni and Lieutenant Colonel Beall'i 
empty trucks inbound for Hagaru. It was after 2000 before the las' 
trucks climbed to the summit, then nosed downhill, whining and roar- 
ing through the night as they made the twisting descent. Chinese Com- 
munists had already launched their first attacks against Southwest Ridgf 
at Yudam-ni, but Fox Company's perimeter remained quiet, even dur- 
ing the first hour of 28 November. 

It was actually too quiet at 01 15 when Lieutenant McCarthy inspected 
the 3d Platoon positions atop Fox Hill, now glittering in the light of 
a full moon, Finding his men numbed by the severe cold, he called 
together his squad leaders and admonished them to be more alert 

' The following section, unless otherwise noted, is derived from Capt R. C McCarthy- 
"Fox Hill," Marine Corps Gazette, xxxvii, no. 3 (Mar 53), 16-23; Montrciss, '■Ridge- 
runners of Toktong Pass," 16-23; 7thMar BAR, 20-21; 7thMar URpt 5; 7thMar msg » 
CG IstMarDiv, 1000 28 Nov 50; Cpl D. R. Thornton interv by Capt A. Z Freeman. 
3 Jul 51; lstLt C. C. Dana and SSgt R. R. Danford interv by Capt Freeman, 4 Jul 51. 

Fox Hill 181 

A short time later, daring his next inspection, McCarthy heard the 
proper challenges ring out at every point. 

^ There was no lack of watchfulness at 0230. For it was then that 
| Chinese in estimated company strength lunged out of the night and 
| assaulted the north, west, and south arcs of Company F's perimeter. 
, On the summit, the two forward squads of McCarthy's platoon were 
^ overwhelmed almost immediately, losing 15 killed and nine wounded 
J 0ut of a total of 35 men. Three others would later be listed as missing, 
j, The eight uninjured fell back to the reserve squad's position on the 
, t military crest to the rear, and the enemy took over the topographical 
! peak. 

( Fighting with small arms and grenades also raged on the hillside to 
fl me left, where the Chinese attempted to drive a wedge between the 
I ^d and 3d Platoons. Repeated assaults were hurled back with grievous 
s losses to the Reds, and they apparently threw in fresh units in their 

bid for a critical penetration. That they failed was due largely to the 
I valor of three Marines who made a determined stand at the vital junc- 
! rion: PFC Robert F. Benson and Private Hector A. CafTeratta of the 
, 2d Platoon, and PFC Gerald J. Smith, a fire team leader of the 3d. 
| These men, assisted by the members of Smith's team, are credited with 

annihilating two enemy platoons, 
j , While the enemy had undoubtedly planned the attack on the two 
f nfle platoons with typical precision, it seems that he literally stumbled 
j mto the rear of Fox Company's position. Corporal Donald R. Thorn- 
I ton, member of a rocket launcher crew, reported that a group of Chinese 

walking along the MSR suddenly found themselves at the edge of 
„ Barber's CP and the mortar positions. The Communist soldiers recov- 
t er ed from the surprise and closed in aggressively, forcing the company 
i commander and the mortar crews to ascend the hill to a protective line 

°f trees. An embankment where the MSR cut through the base of the 
j hill prevented pursuit by the Chinese. When they tried to climb over it 
I m ey were cut down by small-arms fire; when they hid behind it they 
j were riddled by grenades that the Marines rolled downhill; when they 

finally gave up and tried to flee, they were shot as they ran into the open. 
On the right (east) side of the perimeter, the 1st Platoon was 

engaged only on the flanks, near the summit where it tied in with the 
; 3d and down the slope where it joined the headquarters troops and 
p mortar crews defending the rear, 

Fighting around the 270° arc of the perimeter continued until after 

182 The Chosm Reservoir i 

daybreak. Despite losses of 20 dead and 54 wounded, Fox Company 
was in complete control of the situation. Lieutenant McCarthy de- 
scribed the breaking-off action as follows: 

By 0630, 28 November, the Chinese had received so many casualties that 
the attack could no longer be considered organized. Few Chinese remained 
alive near the company perimeter. Individual Chinese continued to crawl up 
and throw grenades. A Marine would make a one-man assault on these indi- 
viduals, shooting or bayoneting them. The attack could be considered over, 
although three Marines . . . were hit by rifle lire at 0730. We received small 
arms fire intermittently during the day, but no attack. 
McCarthy estimated that enemy dead in front of the 2d and 3d 
Platoons numbered 350, while yet another 100 littered the 1st Platoon's 
zone and the area at the base of the hill along the MSR. 

Marine Counterattacks on North Ridge 

As Companies C and F of the 7th Marines were fighting on the MSR 
in the hours just before dawn of 28 November, the first of a series of 
Marine counterattacks commenced at Yudam-ni. It was essential to the 
very survival of the 5th and 7th Regiments that the Chinese be driven 
back, or at least checked, on the high ground surrounding the village. 

Lieutenant Colonel Taplett, operating his CP in the no man's land 
at the base of North Ridge, ordered Company G of 3/5 to counter- 
attack the spur of Hill 13S4 at about 0300. 7 The platoon of George 
Company outposting Southwest Ridge was left in position, but the 
other two platoons, under Second Lieutenants John J. Cahill and Dana 
B. Cashion, moved out abreast shortly after 0300. Driving northward 
aggressively, they crossed the MSR, "liberated" Taplett's CP, and 
cleared the draw in which Weapons Company of 3/5 was still en- 
trenched. Troops of H&S Company followed the attackers and reoccu- 
pied their old positions in the gulley. 

Cahill and Cashion, displaying remarkable cohesion on unfamiliar 
ground in the darkness, led the way up Hill 1384. Their men advanced 
swiftly behind a shield of marching fire and routed the few 3 Chinese 
on the spur. The position earlier vacated by the police platoon was 
recaptured, and the Marines saw numerous enemy dead in front of the 

"These figures would indicate the complete destruction of a CCF Battalion, 
1 The description of 3/5's counterattack is derived from; 5thMar SAR, 21-22; 3/5 SAR, 
\4; Taplett interv, 3 May 56; Capt D. B. Cashion ltr, 36 Jul 56 and statement, n. d. 
"Cashion ltr, 16 Jul 56, estimates the opposition came from 25-30 Chinese. 

Fox mm 


South Korean machine gun emplacements. About 500 yards beyond 
the battalion CP the two platoons halted until daylight. The seven men 
who had formed the Item Company outpost on Hill 1384 arrived 
shortly afterwards and were integrated into Cash ion's platoon. 

He continued the attack soon after daybreak, with Cah ill's platoon 
giving fire support. Cashion and his men plunged into enemy territory 
along the ridge line leading northward to the topographical crest of 
Hill 1384, about 1000 yards distant. They had reached the final slopes 
when Taplett received the radio message, almost incredible to him, 
that the two platoons were nearing the peak of Hill 13S4. He directed 
them to discontinue the attack and withdraw to the top of the spur. 
There they were to establish a defense line overlooking Yudam-ni until 
receiving further orders. The spirited drive led by the two young officers 
had taken considerable pressure off the Marine units in the valley west 
of the village. One immediate effect was that approximately 80 officers 
and men of How Company, 7th Marines, were able to retire into 3/5' s 
perimeter from the slopes of Hill 1403 on Northwest Ridge. 

To the east of 3/5, a second successful counterattack by the 5th 
Marines brought stability to yet another critical point. Company C of 
1/5 had deployed shorrly afrer midnight ro back up 3/5, in the event 
of a break-through in the valley. Owing to the adverse developments 
on Hills 1282 and 1240, however, it was later placed under operational 
control of the 7th Marines. One platoon left for Hill 1240 in the middle 
of the night ro reinforce D/7, and the remainder of the company, led 
by Captain Jack R. Jones, ascended 1282 to assist E/7 and the two 
plaroons of A/5 earlier committed. 9 

Charlie Company moved up a draw with Jones and his executive 
officer, First Lieutenant Loren R. Smith, in the van of the column, fol- 
lowed by the 1st and 2d Platoons and the 60mm mortar section. Light 
machine-gun sections were attached to the rifle platoons. The climb 
took almost two hours in the predawn darkness, the company fre- 
quently halting while Jones questioned wounded men descending from 
the top. Numb from cold, shock, and loss of blood, they could give no 
intelligible picture of a situation described as grim and confused. 

* The account of Company C's counterattack is derived from 5thMar SAR, 21 ; 1/5 SAR, 
12-13; 7thMar SAR, 21; 7th Mar msg to CG IstMarDiv, 1000 28 Nov 50; 1/5 HD, 
mv 50, 8; Maj L. R. Smith interv, 31 May 56; Rey Itr, 26 Jun 52; ATIS Enemy Docu- 
ments: Korea,, Operations Issue 66, 130-134, and Issue M, 3S-43; LtCol J. W. Stevens, 
18 Q 0IWI,ents ' 27 J un 36 : C *P* E - E - Coliins Comments, 19 Jun 56; SSgt R. C. Alvarez Itr, 


The Chosin Reservoir Campaign 

At approximately 0430, the head of the column came under heavy 
fire from above as it reached a point just below the military crest, about 
100 yards from the summit of 1282. Here, Jones found Staff Sergeant 
Murphy from E/7's 3d Platoon which, along with Trapnell's, was out 
of sight on the spur to the right. Also out of sight but far to the left 
were Snyder's platoon of A/5 and a handful of men of Easy Company. 
While CCF grenades and small-arms fire rained down, Murphy ex- 
plained that E/7's main position had been overrun and that he was 
attempting to form a holding line in the center with some 20 survivors 
of the summit battle. 

Jones quickly deployed his two platoons for the attack, the 2d under 
Second Lieutenant Byron L. Magness on the right, the 1st under Second 
Lieutenant Max A. Merrit on the left. Murphy's small contingent joined 
the formation. Second Lieutenant Robert H, Corbet set up his 60mm 
mortar section to support the advance, then took a place in the assault 
line. Down in the valley the 81mm mortars of 1/5 opened up with a 
preparatory barrage. Artillery could not fire because of the short dis- 
stance between friendly and enemy lines, and the first flight of Corsairs 
was not yet on station. 

The frontal attack against the 3d Company, 1st Battalion, 235th CCF 
Regiment began shortly after daybreak. Jones personally led the Marine 
skirmishers against more than 50 enemy soldiers armed with machine 
guns and grenades. His troops moved upward through a hail of fire and 
overran the Communists after a savage clash that included hand-to- 
hand fighting. The Marines then deployed with the just-arrived 2d 
Platoon of Able Company bridging the gap between Jones and Trap- 
nell in time to thwart the advance of enemy reinforcements. 

According to enemy reports, only six or seven men survived the 3d 
Company's defeat. One of them happened to be the company political 
officer, who conveniently had retired from the battle line during the 
crucial stage of rhe srruggle. At 1/235's CP, a few hundred yards to 
the rear, he was given a platoon of the 2d Company "in order to evacu- 
ate the wounded and to safeguard the occupied position on Hill 
1282. . . ." The fresh unit ascended the northern slopes of the height 
while Jones' company was battling its way up from the south. By the 
time the Red soldiers of the 2d Company neared the summit, they were 
confronted from above by the muzzles of Marine rifles and machine 
guns. The whole story unfolds in CCF records as follows: 

As soon as the 1st Platoon [2d Company] advanced to the 3d Company's 

position its assistant company commander came up with the platoon. At that 

Fox Hill 


time, the enemy [C/5] counterattacked very violently. Accordingly, the 
assistant company commander ordered the 1st Platoon to strike the enemy 
immediately and determinedly. Before the 1st Platoon's troops had been 
deployed, Lee Feng Hsi, the Platoon Leader, shouted: "Charge!" So both 
the 1st and 2d Squads pressed forward in swarms side by side. When they 
were within a little more than ten meters of the top of the lull they suffered 
casualties from enemy hand grenades and short-range fire. Consequently, 
they were absolutely unable to advance any farther. At that time, the assistant 
company commander and the majority of the platoon and squad leaders were 
either killed or wounded. 

While the 1st and 2d Squads were encountering the enemy's counterattack, 
the 3d Squad also deployed and joined them in an effort to drive the enemy 
to the back of the hill. As a result, more than half of the 3d Squad were 
either killed or wounded. When the second assistant platoon leader attempted 
to reorganize, his troops suffered again from enemy flanking fire and hand 
grenades. Thus, after having fought for no more than ten minutes, the entire 
platoon lost its attacking strength and was forced to retreat somewhat to be 
able to defend firmly the place it held. 

Meanwhile, according to Chinese accounts, Tsung Hui Tzu, com- 
mander of the 2d Company, had arrived at the CP of 1/235 with his 
2d Platoon at 0620. Noting that his 1st Platoon was in trouble, he 
said to the leader of the 2d, "There are some enemy soldiers on the hill 
[1282] in front of us; attack forward determinedly," 

The 2d Platoon jumped off immediately with two squads abreast 
and one trailing. Within 30 meters of the crest, the Reds attempted to 
ru sh Charlie Company's position behind a barrage of hand grenades. 
The assault failed. On the right the assistant platoon leader fell at 
the head of the 4th squad, which was reduced to three survivors. Tsung, 
the company commander, rushed forward and led the 6th squad on the 
left. He was wounded and the squad cut to pieces. Incredibly, the 
platoon leader ordered the three remaining men of the 4th squad to 
assault the summit again. They tried and only one of them came back. 
The 5th squad, advancing out of reserve, had no sooner begun to 
deploy than it lost all of its NCOs. "As it mixed with the 4th and 6th 
s quads to attack, they suffered casualties again from enemy flanking 
fife and hand grenades from the top of the hill. Therefore, the entire 
platoon lost its combat strength, with only seven men being left alive." 

Not only was the commanding officer of 1/235 down to his last com- 
pany, but that company was down to its last platoon. Forever hovering 
m the rear, the 2d Company's political officer, Liu Sheng Hsi, ordered 
the platoon to "continue the attack," The assault began with two squads 
forward, led by the platoon leader and his assistant. They charged 

The Chosin Reservoir Campaign 

uphill into the teeth of Charlie Company's position. Like all the others, 
they were ground into the mat of corpses on the blood-soaked snow. 
To complete the suicide of the 1st Battalion, 235th Regiment, the 
reserve squad of this last platoon was committed. A few minutes later, 
". . . there were only six men left." 

The 2d Company paid for its failure with 94 of the original 116 
officers and men. Tins loss, added to those of the 1st, 3d, and Special 
Duty Companies, would place 1/23 5 's casualties on Hill 1282 at 
approximately 400, including practically all the company commanders, 
platoon leaders, and NCOs. It can be assumed that nearly all of the 
wounded succumbed, since evacuation was well nigh impossible with 
Marines in control of the summit for the next 24 hours. 

Marine losses were not light. Able and Charlie Companies of 1/5 
together suffered 1.5 KIA and 67 WIA. Easy Company of 2/7, accord- 
ing to best estimates, made its stand at a cost of about 120 killed and 

Deadlock on Hill 1240 

At daybreak of 20 November, several of Easy Company's casualties still 
lay in their foxholes on the forward slopes of Hill 1282. To recover 
them was an undertaking of great risk, even after the defeat of 1/235; 
for CCF survivors continued to fire at the summit from positions on 
the lower slopes. Captain Jones directed the evacuation and repeatedly 
ran foiward of his lines to rescue ha If -frozen Marines who were immo- 
bilized by wounds. 10 

Headquarters personnel of 1 /5 spent the whole morning removing 
casualties from 1282 and carrying them to the battalion and regimental 
aid stations, which soon were filled to overflowing. In the meantime, 
Able Company joined Charlie on the crest and assimilated the depleted 
platoons of Trapnell and Snyder. A new defensive line was drawn 
across the vital peak with C/5 in die center, A/5 on the right, and 
E/7, now under the command of Lieutenant Bey, on the left. By mid- 
morning, despite the continued exchange of fire with CCF troops on 
the slopes, there was no doubt that the Marines would hold the hill. 11 

This was not the case 1000 yards to the right, where daybreak had 

" L. R. Smith interv, 31 May 56; Geer, The New Breed, 285. 
u 5thMar SAR, 12-13; Collins Comments, 19 Jim 56. 

Fox HSU 


found the shattered remnants of D/7 clinging to a toehold on Hill 12-10 
and beset from every direction by troops of the 3d Battalion, 236th 
CCF Regiment. 12 The 3d Platoon of C/5, which had been dispatched 
from the valley at 0400 to help, was delayed by darkness and terrain. 
Second Lieutenant Harold L. Dawe's small relief force became hotly 
engaged on the lower slopes, far short of Dog Company's position, 
but made a lighting ascent after dawn. 

Initially Da we missed contact with the beleagnred outfit, but after- 
wards the two forces cleared the Chinese from 1240. From his position 
on the northeastern spur of the hill he could see the enemy massing 
on the reverse slopes of 1240 and 1282. Communications were out and 
he could not call for fire. At about 1100 the Reds counterattacked with 
an estimated two or more battalions and forced Da we to withdraw 
about 150 yards. There his depleted platoon and the 16 remaining men 
of Dog Company held under heavy mortar fire until relieved by B/5 
at 1700. The price of a stalemate on Hill 1240 was to Dawe about 
half of his platoon, and to Hull practically his whole company. 

To the left of North Ridge, dawn of 28 November revealed a tactical 
paradox on the looming massif of Northwest Ridge. Both Marines and 
Red Chinese occupied the terminal high ground, and it was difficult 
to determine which had emerged victorious from the all-night battle. 
How Company, 7th Marines, had withdrawn from Hill 1403, and from 
this commanding peak soldiers of the 89th CCF Division could observe 
and enfilade the whole of Yudam-ni valley. In addition to the 80 offi- 
cers and men of How Company who had pulled back to the lines of 
3/5 during the early morning, another group found its way to the rear 
of Easy Company, 2/5, as mentioned earlier. 13 

The appearance of the latter contingent at 0430 was a cause of con- 
sternation to Lieutenant Colonel Roise, His rifle companies had thrown 
back repeated CCF attacks along the draw and spur on the left of the 
7th Marines' outfit, but the loss of 1 403 now offset his victory and 

"The account of the action of Hill 1240 is derived from: 5thMnr SAR, 12; 1/5 SAR, 
13-15: 7thMar ms fi to CG IsrMarDiv, 1000 28 Nov 50; Geer, The New Breed, 288; Opt 
is ^awe, Jr.. Comments, o. d, 
3/5 SAR, U, and 2/5 SAR, 18; 7thMar msg to CG lstMarDiv, 0840 28 Nov 50. 

188 The Chasm Reservoir Campaign 

gravely imperiled his line of communications to the rest of the 5th 
Marines at Yudam-ni, a mile to the rear. Nevertheless, 2/5 continued 
to hold. At 0600 Company E counterattacked and drove the Chinese 
from the northern tip of the spur which they had occupied during the 
night. Fox Company, its right flank now restored and in contact with 
Easy, lashed out at 0800 and recaptured the two machine guns over- 
run by the enemy four hours earlier. Fifteen CCF soldiers who had 
found their way into the rear of Company F some time in the night were 
destroyed. Easy Company, after its successful counterattack on the 
spur, drove off a large Communist force attempting to move against 
its right flank." 

Incredibly, 2/5 's losses for the night-long fight were 7 KIA, 25 WIA, 
and 60 weather casualties. Chinese dead piled across the front of 
Easy and Fox Companies numbered 500, according to a rough count. 16 
There was no estimate made by How Company, 7th Marines, of enemy 
losses on Hill 1403. 

At 0145 on the 28th, Roise had received Murray's order to continue 
the attack to the west after daybreak, so that 3/5 could move forward, 
deploy, and add its weight to the X Corps offensive. Events during the 
night altered Murray's plans, of course, and at 0545 the regimental 
commander alerted Roise ro the probability of withdrawing 2/5 to 
Southwest Ridge later in the morning. The battalion commander, not 
realizing the extent of the crisis at Yudam-ni, thought a mistake had 
been made when he checked the map coordinates mentioned in the 
message. Despite the fact that his whole front was engaged at the 
time, he was prepared to continue the westward drive, and he ques- 
tioned regimental headquarters about the "error" which would take 
his battalion rearward. Needless to say, the correctness of the map 
coordinates was quickly confirmed, 10 

Lieutenant Colonel Murray visited Colonel Litzenberg at dawn on 
the 28th, while elements of the 5th Marines were counterattacking the 
Chinese forces on North and Northwest Ridges, They agreed that the 
enemy had appeared in sufficient strength to warrant a switch to the 
defensive by both regiments, and Murray cancelled the scheduled west- 
ward attack by his 2d and 3d Battalions. At 1100 he ordered 2/5 to 
pull back to Southwest Ridge, tying in on the left with 3/7 on the same 

" Ibid.; Jaskilka, "Easy Alley." 
"2/5 HO, Not SO, 9-10. 

" 5thMar SAR, 21 ; 2/5 SAR, 19; Col J. L. Stewart interv 13 Jun 56. 


Fox Hill 

hill mass, and on the right with 3/5, whose line extended from the 
valley northwest of Yudam-ni to the crest of North Ridge. 17 

Orders officially halting the northwestward advance and directing 
the 5 th Marines to coordinate positions with the 7 th Marines were sent 
by General Smith at 1650. 1S Twenty-three minutes earlier he had ordered 
the 7 th Marines to attack to the south and reopen the MSR to Hagaru. 10 

To coordinate better the defense of the new perimeter, Murray 
moved his CP from the northwestern edge of Yudam-ni to the center 
of the village, where the 7th Marines' headquarters was located. He 
spent most of his time thereafter with Litzenberg, while Lieutenant 
Colonel Joseph L. Stewart, his executive officer, ran the 5th Regiment 
command post. 20 Through constant contact and a policy of close cooper- 
ation in all matters, the two regimental commanders and their staffs 
came up with joint plans for the defense of Yudam-ni and the ultimate 
breakout to Hagaru. 

The first of these plans had to do with the realignment of forces at 
Yudam-ni and the rescue of Charlie and Fox Companies, 7th Marines. 
Early in the afternoon of 28 November, 2/5 began withdrawing from 
Northwest Ridge a company at a time, with Company E providing 
covering fire as rear guard. The battalion's displacement to Southwest 
Ridge was completed by 2000 against CCF resistance consisting only 
of harassing fires. 21 

Directly across the valley of Yudam-ni, Company I of 3/5 relieved 
the elements of 1/5 on Hill 1282 of North Ridge in lare afternoon. 
George and How Companies of 3/5 deployed in the low ground to 
protect the corridor approaches to Yudam-ni from the northwest. 
Lieutenant Colonel Stevens, keeping the bulk of 1 75 in reserve, dis- 

°n Hill 1 240 f Y 

_ While this reshuffling took place on the 28th, Colonel Litzenberg 
listened anxiously to the grim reports from his 1st Battalion, which 
had set out in the morning to retrieve both Charlie and Fox Companies 
from their encircled positions on the MSR leading to Hagaru. 22 Able 

u Col R. L. Murray Comments, n, d. 
lf CG IstMarDiv msg to CO 5thMar, 1650 28 Nov 50. 
CG istMarDiv msg to CO 7thMar, 1627 28 Nov 50. 

3th Mar msg to CG IstMaxDiv, 1050 28 Nov 50. 

„^ 5 19 

The account of C/5's rescue, is derived from: 7thMar SAR, 21; 7thMar msgs to CG 
'stMwDiv 1150, 1200, 1450, 1550, 1915, 2040 28 Nov 50, and 0144 29 Nov 50; 7thMar 
ms « to 2/7 0515 28 Nov 50; Ge«, The New Breed, 290-291. 


The Chosin Reservoir Campaign 

Company led off for the relief force at 1015, entering the gorge between 
South and Southeast Ridges. Five hours of fighting, marching, and 
climbing took it to a point about three miles from the Yudam-ni 
perimeter and one mile short of Company C's position. Here, while 
moving through the high ground east of the MSR, the vanguard met 
heavy resistance and was stopped cold. 

Lieutenant Colonel Davis, who was following with the remainder 
of the 1st Battalion, committed Company B to a flanking movement 
west of the road. Air and 81mm mortars supported the auxiliary attack 
and routed the Chinese, Both companies advanced to high -ground 
positions abreast of Charlie Company's perimeter, then bent toward the 
MSR to provide a protective crescent between the beleaguered outfit 
and the enemy-infested ground to the south. 

By now it was dark. Fox Company, according to plan, was supposed 
to have fought its way from Toktong Pass. Owing to the burden of 
casualties and the ring of Chinese around its distant hilltop, it was 
not able to do so. Litzenberg, concerned lest 1/7 be similarly trapped 
in the gorge, recalled Davis to Yudam-ni. The relief force returned 
at 2110 with Charlie Company and its 46 wounded. 

Second Night's Attacks on Fox Hill 

Fox Company, with 54 wounded on its hands, spent an active day at 
the top of Toktong Pass, 23 After the Chinese attacks subsided in the 
morning, Barber's men collected ammunition and weapons from Ma- 
rine casualties and Communist dead. Included among enemy arms 
were several of the familiar U. S. Thompson submachine guns and 
Model 1903 Springfield rifles. 

At 1030 a flight of Australian F-51s (Mustangs) blasted CCF posi- 
tions around Toktong Pass, particularly a rocky promontory several 
hundred yards to the north on Hill 1653, which the enemy already had 
transformed into a redoubt. Within the Marine perimeter, the wounded 
were placed in two tents on a sheltered hillside where Navy corpsmen 
attended them constantly. According to Lieutenant McCarthy's account, 
the medics, "by candlelight . . . changed the bandages, slipped men in 
and out of sleeping bags, warmed C-rations for the men, and melted 

11 This account of Company F's activities on 28 Nov is derived from: 7thMar SAR, 
18-24; McCarthy, "Fox Hill," 16-23; Thornton interv, 3 Jul 51; Dana-Danford interv 
4 Jul 51; Geer, The New Breed, J00-302; Statement of Cp! C. R. North, n. d. 

Fox Hill 


the morphine syrettes in their mouths before the injections. Because 
the plasma was frozen the corpsmen had to watch men die for the 
lack of it." 

During late morning and the afternoon, Barber sent out patrols to 
screen the areas immediately beyond his lines. The scouting parties 
met only sniper fire, but other evidence of enemy activity indicated that 
Fox Hill was completely surrounded. An appeal for rcsupply by air 
was answered later in the day when Marine R5Ds dropped medical 
kits and ammunition at the base of the hill. At a cost of two wounded, 
the precious supplies were recovered before sundown. 

Fox Company's perimeter for the night of 28-29 November was the 
same as before, except that the ranks were noticeably thinner. Never- 
theless, a feeling of confidence pervaded the men on the hilltop; they 
believed implicitly that they could hold. They believed it despite the 
fact that strong relief columns from both Yudam-ni and Hagacu had 
been unable to break through to them. 

All was quiet on Fox Hill until 0215, when CCF mortar rounds 
killed one Marine and wounded two others in the 3d Platoon, now 
reduced to some 20 able-bodied men. About 40 Chinese made a pene- 
tration in this area after a series of probing attacks all along the line. 
One Marine crew turned its light machine gun about and brought it 
to bear on the bunched-up attackers with deadly effect. A gap in the 
lines on both flanks caused the platoon to pull back about 20 yards. 
At sunrise, however, Staff Sergeant John D. Audas led a counter- 
attack which regained the lost ground at a cost of only two wounded. 

The second night's fighting cost Fox Company a total of five killed 
and 29 wounded. Both Captain Barber and Lieutenant McCarthy suf- 
fered leg wounds, but continued in action after receiving first aid. 
The company commander directed that the open ground on Fox Hill 
he marked with colored parachutes from the previous day's air drops. 
This provision resulted in accurate drops and easy recoveries when 
Marine transport planes arrived at 1030 on the 29th with ammunition 
and supplies. Shortly afterwards First Lieutenant Floyd J. Englehardt 
of VMO-6" landed with batteries for the SCR-300 and 619 radios. 
Although his helicopter was damaged by hits from long-distance Chi- 
nese fire, he managed to take off safely. 

Air drops that afternoon by C-119s of the Combat Cargo Command 
missed the marked zone at times, and much of the mortar ammunition 
landed about 500 yards to the west of the perimeter. Lieutenant Peter- 

192 The Chos'm Reservoir Campaign 

son, already twice wounded, led Marines who recovered some of the 
rounds but were pinned down by CCF fire and got back, one at a time, 
with difficulty. At dusk, under cover of fire from How Battery, another 
detail recovered the ammunition without enemy interference. 

Not Enough Tents for Casualties 

The night of 28-29 November passed with only minor activity in the 
Yudam-ni area for the infantry of RCT-5 ; but the regimental surgeon, 
Lieutenant Commander Chester M. Lessenden (MC) USN, had his 
hands full. During the fighting of the previous night the joint aid 
station had been west of Yudam-ni. Tents sheltering the wounded 
were riddled by enemy small-arms fire from the North Ridge battle, 
and on the morning of the 28th the aid station displaced to a safer 
location southwest of Yudam-ni. The seriously wounded filled the few 
tents initially available, and the others were protected from freezing 
by being placed outdoors, side by side, and covered by tarpaulins while 
lying on straw. Primitive as this hospitalization was, DOW cases were 
no more than might have been expected under better conditions, 34 

The crowding in the aid stations was much relieved on 30 November 
by the erection of sufficient tentage by 4/11 to provide shelter for 
approximately 50O casualties. 

"Everything was frozen," said Lessenden later in an interview with 
Keyes Beech, a press correspondent. "Plasma froze and the bottles 
broke. We couldn't use plasma because it wouldn't go into solution 
and the tubes would clog up with particles. We couldn't change dress- 
ings because we had to work with gloves on to keep our hands from 

"We couldn't cut a man's clothes off to get at a wound because he 
would freeze to death. Actually a man was often better off if we left 
him alone. Did you ever try to stuff a wounded man into a sleeping 

The joint defense plan for the night of 28-29 November provided 
for RCT-5 to take the responsibility for the west and north sectors, 
while RCT-7 was to defend to the east, south and southwest. Enemy 

"5thMar SAR, 48; Stewart interv, 13 Jun 56; 4/11 SAR, 5; McReyaolds interv, 
€kS* Beech: Tokyo and Points East (New York, 1934), 196. 

Fox Hill 193 

mortar fire was received during the night in both regimental zones, 
but there were few infantry contacts. This lack of activity could only 
be interpreted as a temporary lull while the enemy regrouped for 
further efforts. 

As for the next attempt to relieve Fox Company and open the MSR 
to Hagaru, the joint planners at Yudam-ni decided on the night of the 
28th that all troops of the two regiments now in line were needed for 
defense. There were actually no men to spare for a relief column, 
and yet Division had ordered the effort to be made. The solution 
seemed to be a composite battalion consisting of perimeter reserve 
units. In order to replace these troops, personnel were to be assigned 
from headquarters units and artillery batteries. This was the genesis 
of the Composite Battalion, consisting of elements from Able Com- 
pany of 1/5, Baker Company of 1/7 and George Company of 3/7, 
reinforced by a 75 mm recoil less section and two 81mm mortar sections 
from RCT-7 battalions. These troops were directed to assemble at 
the 1/7 CP on the morning of the 29th, with Major Warren Morris, 
executive officer of 3/7, in command. 89 

At 0800 the striking force moved out southward with the dual mis- 
sion of relieving Captain Barber and opening up the MSR all the way 
to Hagaru. After an advance of 300 yards, heavy machine-gun fire 
hit the column from both sides of the road. Groups of Chinese could 
be plainly seen on the ridges, affording remunerative targets for the 
81mm mortars and 75 recoilless guns. Forward air controllers soon 
had the Corsairs overhead to lead the way. At a point about 4500 
yards south of Yudam-ni, however, Marine planes dropped two mes- 
sages warning that the enemy was entrenched in formidable force 
along the high ground on both sides of the MSR. 

Similar messages were delivered by the aircraft to the regimental CP 
at Yudam-ni. They caused Colonel Litzenberg to modify the orders 
Of the Composite Battalion and direct that it relieve Fox Company 
a "d return to Yudam-ni before dark, 

By this time Morris' troops had become engaged with large numbers 
°f Chinese who were being constantly reinforced by groups moving 
jfiro the area along draws masked from friendly ground observation. 
Litzenberg was informed on a basis of air observation that Morris was 
in danger of being surrounded, and at 1315 he sent an urgent message 

"This account of the Composite Battalion is derived from tlie following sources: Narra- 
te of Maj W. R. Earney, n. d., 5-8; 3/7 SAR, n. p. 

directing the force to return to Yudam-ni. Contact was broken off 
immediately with the aid of air and artillery cover and the Composite 
Battalion withdrew without further incident. 

The laming Point of 30 November 

The Yudam-ni area had a relatively quiet night on 29-30 November, 
But even though there was little fighting, the continued sub-2ero cold 
imposed a strain on the men when at least a fifty per cent alert must 
be maintained at all times. This was the third virtually sleepless night 
for troops who had not had a warm meal since the Thanksgiving feast. 

"Seldom has the human frame been so savagely punished and con- 
tinued to function," wrote Keyes Beech. "Many men discovered re- 
serves of strength they never knew they possessed. Some survived and 
fought on will power alone." 27 

Certainly there was no lack of will power on Fox Hill as Captain 
Barber called his platoon leaders together at about 1700 on 29 Novem- 
ber and told them not to expect any immediate relief. Chinese attacks, 
he warned, might be heavier than ever this third night, but they would 
be beaten off as usual. 

The area was quiet until about 0200 on the 30th, when an Oriental 
voice called out of the darkness in English, "Fox Company, you are 
surrounded. I am a lieutenant from the 11th Marines. The Chinese 
will give you warm clothes and good treatment. Surrender now!" 28 
The Marines replied with 81mm illumination shells which revealed 
targets for the machine guns as the Chinese advanced across the valley 
from the south. 

Thanks to the afternoon's air drops, Fox Hill had enough mortar 
ammunition and hand grenades for the first time, and good use was 
made of both. An estimated three CCF companies were cut to pieces 
at a cost of a single Marine wounded. 

At sunrise, as the Corsairs roared over, all tension vanished on Fox 
Hill. For it was generally agreed that if the Chinese couldn't take the 
position in three nights, they would never make the grade. 

The troops in the Yudam-ni area also felt that the enemy had shot 

n Beech, Tokyo and Points East, 197. 

"This description of the third night on Fox Hill is derived from McGirthy, "Fox Hill," 

Fox Hill 


his bolt without achieving anything more than a few local gains at a 
terrible cost in killed and wounded. It was recognized that some hard 
fighting lay ahead, but the morning of the 30th was a moral turning 
point both in the foxhole and the CP. 

It was evident even on the platoon level at Yudam-ni that big events 
were in the wind. Marine enlisted men are traditionally shrewd at 
sizing up a tactical situation, and they sensed that a change was at 
hand, For three days and nights they had been on the defensive, fight- 
ing for their lives, and now the word was passed from one man to 
another that the Marines were about to snatch the initiative. 

The regimental commanders and staff officers had a worry lifted 
from their minds when a helicopter brought the news that Hagaru 
bad passed a quiet night after repulsing large enemy forces in a dusk- 
to-dawn battle the night before. It would have added enormously to 
the task of the Yudam-ni troops, of course, if the Chinese had seized 
that forward base with its air strip and stockpiles of supplies. Thus it 
was heartening to learn that a single reinforced Marine infantry bat- 
talion and an assortment of service troops had beaten off the attacks 
of large elements of a Chinese division at Hagaru. The following two 
chapters will be devoted to an account of that critical battle and its 
aftermath before returning to Yudam-ni. 


Hagaru's Night of Fire 

Pour-Mile Perimeter Required— Attempts to Clear MSR— In- 
telligence as to CCF Capabilities — Positions of Marine Units 
— CCF Attacks from the Southwest — East Hill Lost to Enemy 
—The Volcano of Supporting Fires — Marine Attacks on East 


THE importance of Hagaru in the Marine scheme of things was 
starkly obvious after the Chinese cut the MSR. Hagaru, with its sup- 
ply dumps, hospital facilities and partly finished C— 47 airstrip, was the 

one base offering the 1st Marine Division a reasonable hope of uniting 

'ts separated elements. Hagaru had to be held at all costs, yet only a 

reinforced infantry battalion (less one rifle company and a third of 
its Weapons Company) and two batteries of artillery were available 
f or the main burden of the defense. 

Owing to transportation shortages, the 3d Battalion of the 1st Ma- 
rines did not arrive at Hagaru until after dusk on 26 November. Even 
s o, it had been necessary to leave George Company and a platoon of 
Weapons Company behind at Chigyong for lack of vehicles. 1 

The parka-clad Marines, climbing down stiffly from the trucks, had 
their first sight of a panorama which reminded one officer of old photo- 
graphs of a gold-rush mining camp in the Klondike. Tents, huts, and 
supply dumps were scattered in a seemingly haphazard fashion about a 
frozen plain crossed by a frozen river and bordered on three sides by 
fc>w hills rising to steep heights on the eastern outskirts. Although 
m any of the buildings had survived the bombings, the battered town 

'This section is derived from: IstMar HD, Nov 50, 2; i/l SAR, 26 Nov-15 Dec 50, 
£,-3; Col T. L. Ridge Itr, 22 Sep 55, and Comments, 7 Jun 56; LtCol E. H. Simmons 
Comments, n. d, 



The Cbosin Reservoir Campaign 

at the foot of the ice-locked Chosin Reservoir 
culated to raise the spirits of newcomers. 

It was too late to relieve 2/7 (-) that evening. Lieutenant Colonels 
Ridge and Lockwood agreed that Fox Company, 7th Marines, and 
Weapons Company (-) of 2/7 would occupy positions jointly with 
3/1. The hours of darkness passed quietly and relief was completed 
the next day. Fox Company then moved to its new positions near 
Toktong Pass. 

On the morning of 27 November, of course, an all-out enemy attack 
was still in the realm of speculation. But it was evident to Lieutenant 
Colonel Ridge, CO of 3/1, that one to two infantry regiments and 
supporting arms would be required for an adequate defense of Hagaru. 
With only a battalion {-) at his disposal, he realized that he must 
make the best possible use of the ground. For the purposes of a survey, 
he sent his S-3, Major Trom peter, on a walking reconnaissance with 
Major Simmons, CO of Weapons Company and 3/1 Supporting Arms 

After a circuit of the natural amphitheater, the two officers agreed 
that even to hold the reverse slopes would require a perimeter of more 
than four miles in circumference (see Map 17) . The personnel re- 
sources of 3/1 would thus be stretched to an average of one man for 
nearly seven yards of front. This meant that the commanding officer 
must take his choice between being weak everywhere or strong in 2 
few sectors to the neglect of others. In either event, some areas along 
the perimeter would probably have to be defended by supporting fires 
alone. 3 

"Under the circumstances," commented General Smith, "and consid- 
ering the mission assigned to the 1st Marine Division, an infantry com- 
ponent of one battalion was all that could be spared for the defense 
of Hagaru. This battalion was very adequately supported by air, and 
had sufficient artillery and tanks for its purposes." 3 

The terrain gave the enemy two major covered avenues of approach 
for troop movements. One was the hill mass east of Hagaru, the other 
a draw leading into the southwest side of the town, where the new 


'Ridge, Notcj; LtCol E. H. Simmons interv, I Dec 55. 
"Gen O. P. Smith Itr, 17 May 56. 

28-29 November 1950 

airstrip was being constructed. Nor could the possibility of a surprise 
attack from some other quarter be dismissed entirely, since CCF ob- 
servers would be able to watch Marine preparations from the surround- 
ing hills in daylight hours. 

Lieutenant Colonel Ridge decided that final troop dispositions must 
depend not only on terrain but equally on intelligence as to enemy 
capabilities. Until he had more information, rhe units of 3/1 were 
to remain in the areas formerly occupied by 2/7. 

Attempts to Chat MSR 

The Battalion CP had been set up in a pyramidal tent at the angle of 
the road to Yudam-ni. Most of the day on the 27th was given over to 
improving positions. At the southwest end of the perimeter, First 
Lieutenant Fisher's Item Company took over from Captain Barber's 
Fox Company, the only rifle company of 2/7 remaining at Hagaru. 

On the strength of preliminary S-2 reports, Ridge instructed the 
commanders of his two rifle companies to improve their sectors, which 
included the entire south and southwest curve of the perimeter. All 
the Division Headquarters troops except one motor convoy had reached 
Hagaru by the 27 th, and it was due to leave Hungnam the next morn- 
ing. The new Division CP was located in the northeast quarter of town, 
near the long concrete bridge over the frozen Changjin River. Rows 
of heated tents surrounded a Japanese type frame house repaired fof 
the occupancy of General Smith, who was expected by helicopter in 
the morning. Already functioning at the CP were elements of the Gen- 
eral Staff Sections and Headquarters Company.* 

The busiest Marines at Hagaru on the 27th were the men of the 1st 
Engineer Battalion. While a Company B platoon built tent decks fot 
the Division CP, detachments of Company A were at work on the 
maintenance of the MSR in the area, and Company D had the job of 
hacking out the new airstrip. Apparently the latter project had its 
"sidewalk contractors" even in sub-zero weather, for this comment 
found its way into the company report: 

Dozer work [was] pleasing to the eye of those who wanted activity but con- 
tributed little to the overall earth-moving problem of 90,000 cubic 
yards of cut and 60,000 cubic yards of fill. 6 

'Smith, Notei, 689-690. 

Hagaru's Night of Fire 201 

Motor graders and scrapers with a 5.8 cubic yard capacity had been 
"loved up from Hamhung. So difficult did it prove to get a bite of the 
frozen earth that steel teeth were welded to the blades. When the pan 
jvas filled, however, the earth froze to the cutting edges until it could 
he removed only by means of a jack hammer. 

The strip was about one-fourth completed on the 27 th, according to 
minimum estimates of the length required. Work went on that night 
as usual under the flood lights. Not until the small' hours of the morn- 
In g did the first reports reach Hagaru of the CCF attacks on Yudam-ni 
and Fox Hill. 

, S° me remnants of 2/7 were still at Hagaru, for lack of transporta- 
tion, when Lieutenant Colonel Lockwood, commanding officer of the 
battalion, received a dispatch from Colonel Litzenberg directing him 
to proceed to Toktong Pass and assist Fox Company. At 0530 he 
guested the "loan" of a rifle company of 3/1 to reinforce elements 
°£ Weapons Company (-), 2/7. Lieutenant Colonel Ridge could 
spare only a platoon from How Company, and at 0830 the attempt 
Was cancelled. An hour later Weapons Company and three tanks from 
«*S 2d Platoon of Company D, 1st Tank Battalion, made another effort, 
hey pushed half-way to the objective, only to be turned back by heavy 
mnese small-arms and mortar fire from the high ground on both 
sides of the road. Supporting fires from 3/1 helped the column to 
bf eak off contact and return to Hagaru at 1500. 7 
Mo better success attended a reinforced platoon of How Company, 
/*> accompanied by three Company D tanks, when it set our on the 
£°ad to Koto-ri. On the outskirts of Hagaru, within sight of Captain 
°neys CP, the men were forced to climb down from their vehicles 
and engage in a hot fire fight. They estimated the enemy force at 
about 50, but an OY pilot dropped a message warning that some 300 
Chinese were moving up on the flanks of the patrol. The Marines man- 
aged to disengage at 1530, with the aid of mortar and artillery fires 
r °ni Hagaru, and returned to the perimeter with losses of one killed 
aid five wounded. 8 

' ? s 'milar patrol from Item Company, 3/1, struck off to the south- 
^^ofjhe perimeter in the direction of Hungmun-ni. Late in the 

I w^ Bn SAR, |ij and Partridge interv, 25 Jim 51. 
2 8 No v jo 26 Not ^ 13 De( 50 > 4 > lstTkBn SAR, 21; 3/1 msg to CO lstMaf, 1845 

'««./ Narrative of Maj C. E. Coriey, n. d. 


The Chasm Reservoir Campaign 

morning of the 28th, this reinforced platoon encountered an estimated 
150 enemy and called for artillery and mortar fires. After dispersing 
this CCF group, the patrol routed a second enemy detachment an hour 
later after a brief fire fight 9 

Any lingering doubts as to the extent of the Chinese attack on the 
MSR were dispelled by reports from the OY and H03S-1 pilots of 
VMO-6. They disclosed that defended enemy road blocks had cut off 
Yudam-ni, Fox Hill, Hagaru, and Koto-ri from any physical contact 
with one another. The advance units of the 1st Marine Division had 
been sliced into four isolated segments as CCF columns penetrated 
as far south as the Chinhung-ni area. 10 

Intelligence as to CCF Capabilities 

There was no question at all in the minds of Lieutenant Colonel Ridge 
and his officers as to whether the Chinese would attack at Hagaru. As 
early as the morning of the 27th, the problem had simply been one 
of when, where, and in what strength. It was up to the S-2 Section 
to provide the answers, and upon their correctness would depend the 
fate of Hagaru, perhaps even of the 1st Marine Division. 

Second Lieutenant Richard E. Carey, the S-2, was a newcomer to the 
battalion staff, recently transferred from a George Company infantry 
platoon. His group consisted of an assistant intelligence chief, Staff 
Sergeant Saverio P. Gallo, an interpreter, and four scout observers. 
There were also two CIC agents assigned to 3/1 by Division G-2, 

At Hagaru, as at Majon-ni, the Marines had won respect at the 
outset by allowing the Korean residents all privileges of self-govern- 
ment which could be reconciled with military security. The police 
department and town officials had been permitted to continue function' 
ing. They in turn briefed the population as to restricted areas and 
security regulations, particularly curfew. Korean civilians entering 
Hagaru through Marine road blocks were searched I 

' 3/1 SAR 26 Nov-15 Dec 30, 4; and IstLt R. C. Needbon [sic] in) 

Shutts, 28 May 51. 

"VMO-6 tel to G-2 IstMarDiv, 1015 28 Nov 50; CO IstMar msg to CG lsfMarL» v ' 
1100 28 Nov 50; CG IstMarDiv msg to CO IstMar, 1103 2S Nov 50. 

11 This section is based on Ridge, Notts, and Comments, 7 Jun 56 ; Narrative of Cap 
R. E. Carey, i Feb 56. The need for NCOs in rifle platoons was so pressing that tP 
former intelligence chief, TSgt James E. Sweeney, had been transferred from the S" 1 
Section just before the move to Hagaru. 

of Fire 203 

to the police station where they were questioned by an interrogation 
team from the S-2 Section. 

Hagaru's resemblance to a gold-rush mining camp was heightened 
011 the 27th by a tremendous influx both of troops and Koreans from 
outlying districts. A large truck convoy from Headquarters Battalion 
arrived to set up the new Division CP, and detachments from various 
Marine ot Army service units entered in a seemingly endless stream. 

Korean refugees had much the same story to tell; most of them 
came from areas to the north and west of Hagaru, and they had been 
dieted from their homes by large numbers of CCF troops. 

Carey instructed his CIC agents to converse with incoming Koreans 
and learn everything possible about the enemy situation. Again, as at 
Majon-ni, people who had been thoroughly indoctrinated with Com- 
munism were found "highly co-operative." As untrained observers, 
low ever, their estimates of CCF numbers and equipment could not be 
! ten ton literally. Since their statements agreed that the enemy was 
f\p 0se P r °ximity, Carey decided to take the risk of sending his two 
J-jC agents on the dangerous mission of establishing direct contact. 

ev we J*e enjoined to make a circuit of the perimeter, mingling when- 
ev er possible with the Chinese and determining the areas of heaviest 

The results went beyond Carey's fondest expectations. Not only did 
lis agents return safely from their long hike over the hills, but they 

r °ught back vital information. Well led and equipped Chinese Com- 
'V^'St units had been encountered to the south and west of Hagaru, 

°d since Marine air also reported unusual activity in this area, it was 

reasonable assumption that the enemy was concentrated there approxi- 
mately i n division strength. 

■I his answered the questions as to "how many" and "where." There 

Gained the problem as to "when" the attack might be expected, and 
f gain on the 28th Carey sent out his CIC agents to make direct contact, 
expected little or no information," he recollected, "but apparently 

ese men had a way with them. Upon reporting back, they told me 
jat they had talked freely with enemy troops, including several officers 

no boasted that they would occupy Hagaru on the night of 28 

j-j ^ajor enemy units were reported to be five miles from the perimeter, 
usk was at approximately 1800, with complete darkness setting in 
Portly afterwards. Adding the estimate of three and a half hours for 


The Chosin Reservoir Campaign 

Chinese movements to the line of departure, the S-2 Section calculated 
that the enemy could attack as early as 2130 on the night of the 28th 
from the south and west in division strength. 13 

Positions of Marine Units 

These intelligence estimates were accepted by Lieutenant Colonel Ridge 
as the basis for his planning and troop dispositions. As the main bastion 
of defense, the tied-in sectors of How and Item Companies were ex- 
tended to include the south and southwest sides of the perimeter-^ 
nearly one-third of the entire circumference — in a continuous line 2300 
yards in length, or more than a mile and a quarter. Each platoon front 
thus averaged about 380 yards, which meant that supporting arms must 
make up for lack of numbers. 13 

East Hill, considered the second most likely point of enemy attack) 
was to be assigned to George Company on arrival. Captain Sitter's 
outfit had orders to depart the Chigyong area on the morning of the 
28 th, so that it could be expected at Hagaru before dark. 

The southeast quarter of the perimeter, between East Hill and the 
left flank of How Company, was to be held by the following units: 
(l) Weapons Company (less detachments reinforcing the rifle com- 
panies and its 81mm mortars emplaced near the battalion CP) man- 
ning a road block on the route to Koto-ri and defending the south nose 
of East Hill; (2) Dog Company, 1st Engineer Battalion (less men a' 
work on the airstrip), occupying the ground south of the concrete 
bridge; and (3) Dog Battery, 2d Battalion, 11th Marines, which had 
the mission of covering 75 per cent of the perimeter with observed 
indirect fire and 25 per cent with direct fire. 

These dispositions left a gap between Weapons Company and the 
engineer and artillery units on the west bank of the Changjtn Rive* 
But this stretch of frozen marshland was so well covered by fire thai 
an enemy attack here would have been welcomed. 

The first reports of the CCF onslaughts at Yudam-ni and Fox Hill, 

"The possibility of an attack from the East Hill area was considered, since Chines' 
forces were known to be east of the hill. Cot Ridge states, "I assume[d] that the build up H 
such forces would not allow their capability of a strong attack." Ridge Comments, 7 Jun K? 

"This section, unless otherwise noted, is based upon the following sources; J/1 SA» 
26 Nof-15 Dec 30; Ridge, Notes; Maj A. J. Strohmengcr Itr to Col T. L. Ridge, 17 Aug 551 
Corley narrative; Narrative of Maj J. R. Fisher, n. d.; Simmons Comments. 

Hagaru's Night of Fire 205 

*5 interpreted by Lieutenant Colonel Ridge, "clearly indicated that no 
time was to be lost at buttoning up the Hagaru perimeter." He called 
°n Colonel Bowser, the Division G-3, on the morning of the 28th and 
recommended that an overall defense commander be designated with 
operational control over all local units. Ridge also requested that 
G eorge Company and the 4 1st Commando be expedited in their move- 
m ent to Hagaru. 

before a decision could be reached, General Smith arrived by heli- 
copter and opened the Division CP at 1100. A Marine rear echelon 
had remained at Hungnam to cope with supply requirements. Colonel 
^ancis A. McAlister, the G-4, left in command, accomplished during 
, e forthcoming campaign what General Smith termed "a magnificent 
job" i n rendering logistical support. 1 * 

The CP at Hagaru had been open only half an hour when General 
Almond arrived in a VMO-6 helicopter to confer with the Division 
commander. Departing at 1255, he visited the 31st Infantry troops who 
jjad been hard hit the night before by CCF attacks east of the Chosin 
Reservoir, On his return to Hamhung, the Corps commander was 
informed that GnCFE had directed him to fly immediately to Tokyo 
0r a conference. There he learned that the Eighth Army was in full 
retreat, with some units taking heavy losses both in personnel and 
equipment. Generals Almond, Walker, Hickey, Willoughby, Whitney, 
at *d Wright took turns at briefing the commander in chief during a 
feting which lasted from midnight to 0130. 1S 

At Hagaru it was becoming more apparent hourly to Ridge that his 

prospects of employing Captain Sitter's company on East Hill were 

growing dim. As he learned later, the unit had left Chigyong that 

horning in the trucks of Company B, 7th Motor Transport Battalion, 

commanded by Captain Clovis M. Jones. Sitter was met at Koto-ri 

*! Lieutenant Colonel Robert W. Rickert, executive officer of RCT-1, 

and directed to report to the regimental S-3, Major Robert E. Lorigan. 

Efforts to open up the road to Hagaru had failed, he was told, and it 

^ould be necessary for George Company to remain overnight at 
Koto-ri. 16 

The probability of such an outcome had already been accepted by 
R'dge on the basis of the resistance met on the road to Koto-ri by his 

,) Smith, Notes, 695-696; CG IstMarDiv msg to Al] Units, 1015 28 Nov 50. 
U £-G Diary, in X Corps WD, 28 Nov 50; X Corps WDSum, Nov 50, 16. 
Narr at i ve of Major C. L. Sitter, n. d. 


The Choiin Reservoir Campaign 

How Company patrol. With this development added to his worries 
he received a telephone call at 1500 from Colonel Bowser, informing 
him that he had been named defense commander at Hagaru by Genera 
Smith. 17 

Just ten minutes later a single CCF shell, assumed to be of 76mrt 
caliber, exploded in the Battalion CP area and fatally wounded Captait 
Paul E. Storaasli, the S-4. The perimeter was so cluttered with tent- 
and dumps that artillery fire at random could hardly have been wasted 
but the enemy gun remained silent the rest of the day, doubtless tc 
avert Marine counter-battery reprisals. 

Only three hours of daylight remained when the newly designate' 
defense commander summoned unit commanders to an initial confer 
ence. It was not made clear just what troops had been placed unde ! 
his operational control. "A primary reason," commented Ridge, "wa: 
that no one knew what units were there, this being compounded bj 
the numerous small elements such as detachments, advance parties 
etc., of which many were Corps and ROK units. Hence, the Battaliof 
S-l and his assistants were a combination of town criers and censtf 
takers. We did, however, get most of the commanders of major unfr 
(if such they could be called) to the initial conference, but the process 
of locating and identifying smaller units was thereafter a continuous 
process which we really never accurately completed." 18 

The larger outfits could be summoned to the conference by telephone 
but it was necessary to send out runners in other instances. With Geot$ 
Company not available, the question of defending East Hill loomed 
large. Ridge decided against all proposals that one of the two ri# 
companies be used for that purpose. On the strength of the S-- 
report, he preferred to concentrate as much strength as possible agains 1 
an attack from the southwest, This meant taking his chances on 
Hill with such service troops as he could scrape up, and it was plai" 
that a strong CCF effort in this quarter would have to be met in \n& 
part by fire power from supporting arms. 

The two main detachments selected for East Hill (excluding w 
south nose) were from Dog Company of the 10th Engineer (C) Bat 
ralion, USA, and elements of X corps Headquarters. Since the missiof 
called for control of mortar and artillery fires as well as tactical leader 
ship, two officers of Weapons Company, 3/1, were assigned — Captai' 

" This was made official by CG IstMatDiv msc to Subordinate Units, 1625 28 Nov 5 ( ' 
- Ridge. Ncus. 27-28. 

J°hn C. Shelnutt to the Army engineer company, 
John L, Burke, Jr., to the Headquarters troops. E< 



Each was to be accom- 
panied by a Marine radio (SCR*300) operator. 

Smaller detachments were later sent to East Hill from two other 
service units— the 1st Service Battalion, 1st Marine Division, and the 
m Signal Battalion of X Corps. 

The Antitank Company of the 7th Marines defended the area to 
J north of East Hill. Next came How Battery, 3d Battalion, 11th 
Marines, which had the primary mission of supporting Fox Company, 
2 /7, on the hill near Tokcong Pass. But by moving gun trails the can- 
noneers could with some difficulty fire on the 270° arc of the perimeter 
stretching from the right flank of Item Company around to the north 
nose of East Hill. 

Between the sectors held by How Battery, 3/11, and Item Com- 
pany, were troops of five Marine units: Regulating Detachment, 
1st Service Battalion; 1st Motor Transport Battalion; Marine Tactical 
Air Control Squadron 2 (mtacs-2) ; Division Headquarters Battalion; 
S H&S Company 3/1. The only other unit in this quarter was 
i weapons Company (-), 2/7, which held the road block on the route 
| t0 iudam-ni. 

< At the conference it was decided that since Lieutenant Colonel 
Charles L. Banks' Regulating Detachment had taken the lead in organ- 
ic 12l ng the Supply Area on the north side of Hagaru, the arc of the 
J Perimeter east of the river and west of East Hill was to be made into a 
i Se condary defe use zone. Banks thus became in effect a sub-sector com- 
( Zander. The only infantry troops in the Supply Area being detach- 
| ments of 2/7 units, it was also agreed that tactical decisions concern- 
| ^| the zone should be discussed with the two ranking battalion officers 
i Untenant Colonel Lockwood, the commander, and Major Sawyer, 
f th e executive. 19 

| These matters having been settled, the conference broke up shortly 
a tter 1700 and the various commanders hastened back to their outfits 
it to make last-minute preparations for the night's attack. A strange hush 
\ ha d fallen over the perimeter, broken only by the occasional crackle of 
j SIT ialI-arms fire, and the damp air felt like snow. 



assi ? atl1 ^ *" s headquarters were not given a specific mission because it was 
, ; ,? tnat his uncanceled order from CO 7th Marines would require his further efforts 
1 th e relief of Fox Company." Ridge Comments, 7 June 56*. 

CCF Attack jrom the Southwest 

How and Item Companies were ready. All platoon positions were well 
dug in, though the earth was frozen to a depth of six to ten inches. 

The men of Item Company used their heads as well as hands after 
Lieutenant Fisher managed to obtain a thousand sandbags and several 
bags of C3. This explosive was utilized in ration cans to make impro- 
vised shape charges which blasted a hole through the frozen crust of 
snow and earth. Then it became a simple matter to enlarge the hole 
and place the loose dirt in sandbags to form a parapet. 20 This ingenious 
system resulted in de luxe foxholes and mortar emplacements attaining 
to the dignity of field fortifications. 

Both company fronts bristled with concertinas, trip flares, booby 
traps, and five-gallon cans of gasoline rigged wirh rhermite bombs for 
illumination. Three probable routes of enemy attack channeled the low 
hills to the southwest — a main draw leading to the junction between 
the two company sectors, and a lesser draw providing an approach to 
each. The ground in front of the junction had been mined, and two 
tanks from the Provisional Platoon were stationed in this quarter. 
Detachments from Weapons Company also reinforced both rifle com- 
panies. Thus the six platoons faced the enemy in the following order; 


Lt Fisher Capt Corley 

Lt Degerne Lt Hail Lt Needham Lt Barrett Lt Endsley Lt Mason 
1st 3d 2d 1st 3d 2d 

Beginning at 1700, hot food was served to all hands in rotation. 
A fifty per cent alert went into effect after dark as the men were sent 
back on regular schedule for coffee and a smoke in warming tents 
located as close to the front as possible. The first snowflakes fluttered 
down about 1950, muffling the clank of the dozers at work as usual 
under the floodlights on the airstrip behind the How Company's sector. 
Just before 2130, the expected time of CCF attack, both company com- 
manders ordered a hundred per cent alert, but the enemy did not show 
up on schedule. It was just over an hour later when three ~ ! ■■ 

14 This section, unless otherwise noted, is based on: 3/1 tel to CO IstMar, 2100 29 Nov 
50; Ridge, Nous; Simmons interv, 1 Dec 55 and Comments; Fisher narrative; Corley 
narrative; Narrative of Cabt R. L. Barrett, Jr., 9 Aug 55; Capt /. H. Miller Itr to authors 
10 Oct 55; and Sgt K. E. Davis Itr to authors, 20 Oct 55. 

Hagaru's Night of Fire 209 

jnd three blasts on a police whistle signaled the beginning of the attack, 
won trip flares and exploding booby traps revealed the approach of 
robing patrols composed of five to ten men. 

A few minutes later, white phosphorus mortar shells scorched the 
Marine front line with accurate aim. The main CCF attack followed 
shortly afterwards, with both company sectors being hit by assault 
waves closing in to grenade-throwing distance. 

The enemy in turn was staggered by the full power of Marine sup- 
porting arms. Snowflakes reduced an already low visibility, but fields of 
^re had been carefully charted and artillery and mortar concentrations 
skillfully registered i. i. Still, the Communists kept on coming in spite 

frightful losses. Second Lieutenant Wayne L. Hall, commanding 
3d Platoon in the center of Item Company, was jumped by three 
^binese whom he killed with a .45 caliber automatic pistol after his 
-arbine jammed. The third foe pitched forward into Hall's foxhole. 

On the left flank, tied in with How Company, First Lieutenant Robert 

Needham's 2d Platoon sustained most of the attack on Item Com- 
pany. The fire of Second Lieutenant James J. Boley's 60mm mortars 
and Second Lieutenant John H. Miller's light machine guns was con- 
centrated in this area. It seemed impossible that enemy burp guns 
could miss such a target as Lieutenant Fisher, six feet two inches in 
"eight and weighing 235 pounds. But he continued to pass up and 
down the line, pausing at each foxhole for a few words of encourage- 
ment. By midnight the enemy pressure on Needham's and Hall's lines 
tad slackened, and on the right flank Second Lieutenant Mayhlon L. 
^egernes' 1st Platoon received only light attacks. 

This was also the case on the left flank of How Company, where 
Second Lieutenant Ronald A. Mason's 2d Platoon saw little action as 
compared to the other two. A front of some 800 yards in the center 
°f the 2300-yard Marine line, including two platoon positions and 
P a rts of two others, bore the brunt of the CCF assault on How and 
"em Companies. 

Captain Corley had just visited his center platoon when the first 
attacks hit How Company. Second Lieutenant Wendell C. Endsley was 
killed while the company commander was on his way to Second Lieu- 
tenant Roscoe L. Barrett's 1st Platoon, on the right, which soon had its 
^ft flank heavily engaged. 

, Never was CCF skill at night attacks displayed more effectively. 

The Chosin Reservoir Campaign 

the How Company lines, so that they seemed to emerge from the very 
earth. The 3d Platoon, already thinned by accurate CCF white phos- 
phorus mortar fire, was now further reduced in strength by grenades 
and burp gun bursts. About this time the company wire net went out 
and Corley could keep in touch with his platoons only by runners. The 
battalion telephone line also being cut, he reported his situation by 
radio to the Battalion CP. 

Two wiremen were killed while trying to repair the line. The Chi- 
nese continued to come on in waves, each preceded by concentrations of 
light and heavy mortar fire on the right and center of the How Company 
position. About 0030 the enemy broke through in the 3d Platoon are* 
and penetrated as far back as the Company CP, A scene of pandemo- 
nium ensued, the sound of Chinese trumpets and whistles adding to the 
confusion as it became difficult to tell friend from foe, "Tracers were 
so thick," recalled Sergeant Keith E. Davis, "that they lighted up the 
darkness like a Christmas tree." 21 

Corley and five enlisted men operated as a supporting fire team while 
First Lieutenant Harrison F. Berts rounded up as many men as tie 
could find and tried to plug the gap in the 3d Platoon line. This out- 
numbered group was swept aside as the next wave of CCF attack car- 
ried to the rear of How Company and threatened the engineers at work 
under the floodlights. 

A few Chinese actually broke through and fired at the Marines 
operating the dozers. Second Lieutenant Robert L. McFarland, th £ 
equipment officer, led a group of Dog Company engineers who counter' 
attacked and cleared the airstrip at the cost of a few casualties. Then 
the men resumed work under the floodlights. 22 

The Battalion reserve, if such it could be called, consisted of anj 
service troops who cou!d be hastily gathered to meet the emergency*' 
Shortly before midnight Ridge sent a platoon-strength group of X Corp* 
signalmen and engineers under First Lieutenant Grady P. Mitchell | 
the aid of How Company. Mitchell was killed upon arrival and Firs' 
Lieutenant Horace L. Johnson, Jr., deployed the reinforcements in * 
shallow ditch as a company reserve. 

About midnight the fight had reached such a pitch of intensity M 
no spot in the perimeter was safe. The Company C medical clearing 

"K. E. Davis Itr, 20 Oct 55. 

a Partridge interv, 25 Jun 51, 45. Ridge Comments, 7 Jim 56, questions whether 
floodlights were on during the whole attack. 

Hagant's Night of Fire 211 

station, only a few hundred yards to the rear of Item Company, was 
' repeatedly hit by machine gun bullets whipping through the wooden 

- waits as surgeons operated on the wounded. The Division CP also 
i took hits, and a bullet which penetrated General Smith's quarters pro- 
j dnced unusual sound effects when it ricocheted off pots and pans in 
i the galley. 23 

i The Chinese seemed to be everywhere in the How Company zone. 
Shortly after midnight they surrounded the CP, portable galEey and 

■ provision tent. "It ts my personal opinion," commented Captain Corley, 
£ that if the enemy had decided to effect a major breakthrough at this 
I time, he would have experienced practically no difficulty. However, 
i he seemed content to wander in and around the 3d Platoon, galley and 

■ hut areas." 2 * 

The Chinese, in short, demonstrated that they knew better how to 
: create a penetration than to exploit one. Once inside the How Company 

- * ln es, they disintegrated into looting groups or purposeless tactical 
fragments. Clothing appealed most to the plunderers, and a wounded 

: Marine in the 3d Platoon area saved his life by pretending to be dead 
s while Communists stripped him of his parka. 

About 0030 the Battalion CP advised Corley by radio that more rein- 
i rarcements were on the way. Lieutenant Johnson met the contingent, 
\ comprising about 50 service troops, and guided them into the company 
area, where they were deployed as an added reserve to defend the 
s airstrip. 

i Item Company was still having it hot and heavy but continued to 
:- beat off all CCF assaults. Elements of "Weapons Company, manning 
i the south road block, came under attack at 0115. Apparently a small 
enemy column had lost direction and blundered into a field of fire 
1 Cov ered by heavy machine guns. The hurricane of Marine fire caught 

■ * h e Communists before they deployed and the result was virtual anni- 
S Nation. 


\ East Hill Lost to Enemy 


an hour later, with the situation improving in the How Company 
g Zone, the Battalion CP had its first alarming reports of reverses on 

* Smith, Chronicle, 93. 
I Corley narrative. 

Hagara's Night of Fire 


East Hill, The terrain itself had offered difficulties to men scrambling 
up the steep, icy slopes with heavy burdens of ammunition. These 
detachments of service troops, moreover, included a large proportion 
of newly recruited ROKs who had little training and understood no 

The largest of the East Hill units, Company D of the 10th Engineer 
Combat Battalion, commanded by Captain Philip A. Kulbes, USA, was 
composed of 77 American enlisted men and 90 ROKS. Combat equip- 
ment (in addition to individual weapons) consisted of four .50 caliber 
machine guns, five light .30 caliber machine guns, and six 3.5 rocket 
launchers. 26 

The Army engineers had arrived at Hagaru at 1200 on the 28th, 
shortly before the enemy cut the MSR. After being assigned to the 
East Hill sector during the afternoon, the company used the few remain- 
ing hours of daylight to move vehicles and gear back to an equipment 
park in the perimeter. It was 2030 before the four platoons got into 
position on East Hill after an exhausting climb in the darkness with 
heavy loads of ammunition. Some use was made of existing holes, but 
most of the men were not dug in when the Chinese attacked. 

On the left the collapse of a ROK platoon attached to X Corps 
Headquarters led rapidly to confusion everywhere on East Hill. Captain 
Shelnutt, the Marine officer assigned to the Army engineers, found 
that he could not close the gap by extending the line to the left. Nor 
did the men, particularly the ROKs, have the training to side-slip to 
the left under fire and beat off flank attacks. The consequence was a 
general withdrawal on East Hill, attended in some instances by demo- 
ralization. Shelnutt was killed as the four engineer platoons fell back 
some 250 yards in "a tight knot," according to Lieutenant Norman R. 
Rosen, USA, commander of the 3d Platoon. 

This was the situation as reported by the Marine radio operator, 
PFC Bruno Podolak, who voluntarily remained as an observer at his 
post, now behind enemy lines. At 0230 a telephone call to Colonel 
Bowser from the 3/1 CP was recorded in the message blank as fol- 

"How Company still catching hell and are about ready to launch 
counterattack to restore line. About an hour ago, enemy appeared on 

31 References to Co D, 1 0th Engr Bn, USA, are based on Lt Norman R. Rosen, "Combat 
Comes Suddenly," in Capt John G, Westover, Ed., Combat Sttptiort in Korea (Washington, 
1955), 206-208. 


The Chosin Reservoir Campaign 

East Hill. A group of enemy sneaked up to a bunch of Banks' men 
and hand-grenaded hell out of them and took position. Sending execu- 
tive officer over to see if we can get some fire on that area. Should be 
able to restore the line but liable to be costly. Reserve practically nil. 
Do have a backstop behind the break in How lines on this side of 
airstrip, composed of engineers and other odds and ends." 26 

At 0400 there was little to prevent the enemy from making a com- 
plete breakthrough on East Hill and attacking the Division CP and 
the supply dumps. A friendly foothold had been retained on reverse 
slopes of the southern nose, but the northern part was held only by 
artillery fires. Along the road at the bottom of East Hill a thin line of 
service troops with several tanks and machine guns formed a weak 

All indications point to the fact that the Chinese themselves were 
not in sufficient strength to follow up their success. Their attack on 
East Hill was apparently a secondary and diversionary effort in support 
of the main assault on the sectors held by How and Item Companies. 
At any rate, the enemy contented himself with holding the high ground 
he had won. 

Some of the defenders of East Hill had fought with bravery which 
is the more admirable because of their lack of combat training. Battle 
is a business for specialists, and Lieutenant Rosen relates that the Army 
engineers "had a great deal of difficulty with our weapons because they 
were cold and fired sluggishly. We had gone into action so unexpec- 
tedly that it had not occurred to us to clean the oil off our weapons." 
As an example of the difficulties imposed by the language barrier, the 
officers were given to understand by the ROKs that they had no more 
ammunition. "Weeks later," commented Rosen, "we found that most 
of them had not fired their ammunition this night, but continued to 
carry it" 37 

In view of such circumstances, the service troops put up a creditable 
if losing fight in the darkness on East Hill. The 77 Americans of the 
Army engineer company suffered losses of 10 KIA, 25 WIA, and nine 
MIA; and of the 90 ROKs, about 50 were killed, wounded, or missing, 
chiefly the latter. 28 

M lslMar tel to G-3 IstMarDiv, 0230 29 Nov 50, 
"Rosen, "Combat Comes Suddenly," 209. 

<*Ibid., 209-210; CG IstMarDiv msg to CG X Corps, 1<M5 29 Nov 50. 

Hagaru's Night of Fire 215 
The Volcano of Supporting Fires 

As usual, the men in the thick of the fight saw only what happened in 
weir immediate area. The scene as a whole was witnessed by a young 
Marine officer of Company A, 1st Engineer Battalion, on duty at a 
sawmill two miles north of Hagaru. From the high ground he could 
look south down into the perimeter, and the awesome spectacle of a 
night battle made him think of a volcano in eruption. Gun flashes 
stabbing the darkness were fused into a great ring of living flame, and 
die thousands of explosions blended into one steady, low-pitched roar. 20 

Seldom in Marine history have supporting arms played as vital a 
part as during this night at Hagaai. It is possible that a disaster was 
averted on East Hill when the Marines of Captain Benjamin S. Read's 
How Battery shifted trails and plugged the hole in the line with how- 
itzer fires alone. Lieutenant Colonel Banks and Major Walter T. War- 
ten, commanding the antitank company of the 7th Marines, acted as 
observers. Reporting by telephone to the gun pits, they directed the 
sweating gunners so accurately that an enemy attack would have come 
u p against a curtain of fire. 30 

Caprain Strohmenger's Dog Battery had been attached to 3/1 so 
to ng that a high degree of co-ordination existed. His 105s fired about 
!200 rounds that night, and POW interrogations disclosed that enemy 
concentrations in rear areas were repeatedly broken up. 

When CCF guns replied, shortly before midnight, there was danger 
°f a fuel or ammunition dump being hit and starting a chain reaction of 
detonations in the crowded perimeter. Strohmenger ordered five of 
his howit2ers to cease fire while he moved the sixth out about 150 yards 
t0 act as a decoy. Its flashes drew fire from the enemy, as he had hoped, 
tevealing the positions of the Chinese artillery. Dog Battery officers 
set up two aiming circles and calculated the range and deflection. Then 
m command was given for all six Marine howitzers to open up. The 
enemy guns were silenced for the night. A later survey established that 
two CCF 76mm guns had been destroyed and two others removed. 31 

The 60mm mortars of the two rifle companies fired a total of more 
than 3200 rounds; and on both fronts the heavy machine guns of 
Weapons Company added tremendously to the fire power. Illuminating 

™ Namtivc of Capt N. A. Caruona, 28 Mar 56, 
Capt Benjamin S. Read (as told to Hugh Morrow) : "Our Guns Never Got Cold," 
Wurday Evening Post, cocxiii (7 Apr 51), l4S. 
Strohmenger Itr, 17 Aug 55. 

216 The Chosm Reservoir Campaign 

shells being scarce, two Korean houses on the Item Company's front 
were set ablaze by orders of Lieutenant Fisher. The flames seemed to 
attract CCF soldiers like moths, and the machine guns of the two tanks 
stationed here reaped a deadly harvest. Curiously enough, the Chinese 
apparently did not realize what excellent targets they made when 
silhouetted against the burning buildings. 

By 0400 it was evident that the enemy's main effort had failed. No 
further attacks of any consequence were sustained by the two rifle com- 
panies. It remained only to dispose of the unwelcome CCF visitors 
sealed off in the How Company zone, and at 0420 Captain Corley 
rounded up men for a counterattack. 

"It will be just as dark for them as for us," he told his NCOs. 

Second Lieutenant Edward W. Snelling was directed to fire all his 
remaining 60mm mortar ammunition in support. Corley and Betts 
led the service troops sent as reinforcements while Johnson advanced 
on the left. A bitter fight of extermination ensued, and by 0630 the 
MLR had been restored. How Company, which sustained the heaviest 
losses of any Marine unit that night, had a total of 16 men killed and 
39 wounded, not including attached units. 33 

After it was all over, the stillness had a strange impact on ears 
attuned the whole night long to the thump of mortars and clatter of 
machine guns. The harsh gray light of dawn revealed the unforgettable 
spectacle of hundreds of Chinese dead heaped up in front of the two 
Marine rifle companies. 33 Shrouds of new white snow covered many 

way to the rear. 

Marine Attacks on East Hill 

But even though the enemy's main attack had failed, his secondary 
effort on East Hill represented a grave threat to perimeter security. 
At 0530 Ridge decided to counterattack, and Major Reginald R. Myers 
volunteered to lead an assault column composed of all reserves who 
could be scraped together for the attempt. 

It was broad daylight before the Battalion executive officer moved 
out with an assortment of Marine, Army, and ROK service troops, some 

n Corley and Barrett narratives. 

" POW reports stated that the Chinese assault force in this sector had been one regiment. 
CIC tel to G-2 IstMarDiv, 1715 29 Nov 50. 

Hagaru's Night of Fife 

of them stragglers from the night's withdrawals from East Hill (see 
Map 18) . Their total strength compared to that of an infantry com- 
pany. About 55 separate units were represented at Hagaru, many by 
splinter groups, so that most of Myers' men were strangers to one 
another as well as to their officers and NCOs. 

The largest Marine group was the platoon led by First Lieutenant 
Robert E. Jochums, assistant operations officer of the 1st Engineer Bat- 
talion. Clerks, typists, and truck drivers were included along with 
Company D engineers. Armed with carbines or M-ls and two gre- 
nades apiece, the men carried all the small arms ammunition they 
could manage. Few had had recent combat experience and the platoon 
commander knew only one of them personally— a company clerk whom 
he made his runner. 

It was typical of the informality attending tins operation that a 
Marine NCO with a small group attached themselves to Jochums, giv- 
«ig him a total of about 45. They had an exhausting, 45-minute climb 
u p the hill to the line of departure, where Myers directed them to attack 
on the left of his main force. 

The early morning fog enshrouded East Hill and Myers' attack had 
to wait until it cleared. The jump-off line lay along a steep slope with 
little or no cover. From the outset the advancing troops were exposed 
to scattered small-arms hre as well as grenades which needed only to 
be rolled downhill. New snow covering the old icy crust made for 
treacherous footing, so that the heavily laden men took painful falls. 

Myers' little task force can scarcely be considered a tactical organiza- 
tion. His close air support was excellent; but both artillery and mortar 
support were lacking. Jochums did not notice any weapons save small 
arms and grenades. 

"Our plane assaults were very effective, especially the napalm at- 
tacks," he commented on the basis of a personal log kept at the time. 
'During these strikes, either live or dry runs, the enemy troops in the 
line of fire would often rise and run from their positions to those in 
the rear." 31 

Marine air came on station at 0930 as VMF-312 planes peeled off 
to hit the enemy with napalm and bombs. The squadron ffew 31 sorties 
that day at Hagaru, nearly all in the East Hill area. Enemy small-arms 
fire crippled one aircraft; but the pilot, First Lieutenant Harry W. 

"Capt R. E. Jochums Itt, 16 Dec 55; Myers Comments. 

Colmery, escaped serious injuries by making a successful crash landing 
within the perimeter. 35 

All accounts agree that the ground forces met more serious opposi- 
tion from the terrain at times than from the enemy. So cut up into 
ridges and ravines was this great hill mass that the troops seldom knew 
whether they were advancing in defilade or exposing themselves to the 
fire of hidden adversaries. Thus the attack became a lethal game of 
hide-and-seek in which a step to the right or left might make the differ- 
ence between life and death. On the other hand, when the Corsairs 
provided shooting gallery targets by flushing out opponents, only a 
few men could get into effective firing position along the narrow, 
restricted ridges before the Communists scuttled safely to new cover. 

It took most of the energies of the attackers to keep on toiling up- 
ward, gasping for breath, clutching at bushes for support, and sweating 
at every pore in spite of the cold. At noon, after snail-like progress, 
the force was still far short of the main ridge recognized as the dividing 
line between friendly forces and the enemy. By this time more than half 
of Myers' composite company had melted away as a result of casualties 
and exhaustion. Jochums saw no more than 15 wounded men in the 
attacking force during the day. He noted about the same number of 
dead Chinese. As for enemy strength, he estimated that the total may 
have amounted to a company or slightly more. 

It was his conviction that "three well organized platoons could have 
pressed the assault without serious consequences and seized the imme- 
diate highest objective. What was behind that I am unable to say, but 
I feel that taking this high ground would have solved the problem," 36 

Most of the friendly casualties were caused by the grenades and 
grazing machine-gun fire of concealed opponents who had the law of 
gravity fighting on their side. Jochums was painfully wounded in the 
foot but continued with his platoon, "The age-old problem of leader- 
ship in such an operation," he concluded, "may be compared to moving 
a piece of string — pulling ifc forward will get you farmer than pushing." 

Enemy small-arms fire increased in volume when Myers' remnants, 
estimated at 75 men, reached the military crest of the decisive ridge. 
There the groups in the center and on the right were halted by the Chi- 
nese holding the topographical crest and reverse slope. On the left 
Jochums' men managed to push on to an outlying spur before being 

"VMF-312 SAR, 15-16. 

" Myers Comments state; "High ground was taken. But [we] could not control move- 
ment of the enemy on the reverse side. As a result [we] could not stay on top." 

stopped by CCF fire from a ridge to the northeast. Jochums" position 
was still short of the commanding high ground, yet it was destined to be 
the point of farthest penetration on East Hill. 

Myers ordered his men to take what cover they could find and draw 
u p a defensive line "short of the topographical crest" while awaiting a 
supporting attack. 37 This was to be carried out by elements of Captain 
George W. King's Able Company of the 1st Engineer Battalion, which 
had been stationed at a sawmill two miles north of Hagaru to repair a 
blown bridge. These troops reached the perimeter without incident at 
noon and proceeded immediately to the assault. 

First Lieutenant Nicholas A. Canzona's 1st Platoon led the column. 
Orders were to ascend the southwestern slope of East Hill, pass through 
Myers' force and clear the ridge line, But after completing an exhaust- 
ing climb to the military crest, the engineer officer was directed to 
retrace his steps to the foot. There Captain King informed htm that a 
new attack had been ordered on the opposite flank, from a starting 
point about 1000 yards to the northeast. 

Moving to the indicated route of approach, Canzona began his second 
ascent with two squads in line, pushing up a spur and a draw which 
became almost perpendicular as it neared the topographical crest. Only 
his skeleton platoon of about 20 men was involved. There were neither 
ladios nor supporting arms, and a light machine gun was the sole 
weapon in addition to small arms and grenades. 

Upon reaching the military crest, the engineers were pinned down 
by CCF machine-gun fire along a trail a few feet wide, with nearly 
vertical sides. Only Canzona, Staff Sergeant Stanley B, McPhersen and 
PFC Eugene B. Schlegel had room for "deployment," and they found 
the platoon's one machine gun inoperative after it was laboriously 
passed up from the rear. Schlegel was wounded and rolled downhill 
like a log, unconscious from loss of blood. 

Another machine gun, sent up from the foot, enabled the platoon 
to hold its own even though it could not advance. Canzona put in a 
request by runner for mortar support, but only two 81mm rounds 
were delivered after a long delay. It was late afternoon when he walked 
downhill to consult King, who had just been ordered to withdraw Com- 
pany A to a reverse slope position. Canzona returned to his men and 
pulled them back about half-way down the slope while McPherson 
covered the retirement with machine-gun fire. The winter sun was 

Myers Comments. 

The Cbosin Reservoir Campaign 

sinking when the weary engineers set up a night defense, and at that 
moment the howitzers of How Battery cut loose with point-detonation 
and proximity bursts which hit the Chinese positions with deadly 

even mortarfire. 38 

About 500 yards south of the engineers, Major Myers held a defen- 
sive position with his remaining force of about two platoons. The Bat- 
talion CP had reason to believe that the outposts on East Hill would be 
relieved shortly by George Company, with the 41st Commando in 
perimeter reserve. Both had departed Koto-ri that morning in a strong 
convoy which also included an Army infantry company, four platoons 
of Marine tanks, and the last serial of Division Headquarters Battalion. 

It was still touch and go at Hagaru at dusk on the 29th, but the 
defenders could take satisfaction in having weathered the enemy's first 
onslaught General Smith, courteous and imperturbable as always, 
visited the Battalion CP to commend Ridge and his officers for the 
night's work. Two rifle companies had inflicted a bloody repulse on 
several times their own numbers, and the counterattacking forces on 
East Hill had at least hung on by their eyelashes. 

In the final issue, a bob-tailed rifle battalion, two artillery batteries 
and an assortment of service troops had stood off a CCF division iden- 
tified as the 58th and composed of the 172d } 173d, and 174th Infantry 
Regiments reinforced with organic mortars and some horse-drawn 
artillery. Chinese prisoners reported that the 172d, taking the principal 
part in the attacks on How and Item Companies, had suffered 90 per 
cent casualties. Elements of the 173d were believed to have figured to 
a lesser extent, with the 174th being kept in reserve. 39 

This was the situation in the early darkness of 29 November, when 
the disturbing news reached Hagaru that George Company and the 
Commandos were being heavily attacked on the road from Koto-ri and 
had requested permission to turn back. 

""Canzona narrative, 28 Mar 36*. Col Brower points out that the Chinese positions 
were defiladed from artiJLcry fire. Col J. H, Brower Comments, n. d. 
■ 3/1 SAR 26 Nou-lS Dec 50, 9-10; Ridge, Notes; Carey narrative. 


CCF Attacks on 2/1 at Koto-ri— Convoy Reinforced by Marine 
Tanks— The Vighi in Hell Fire Valley— Attack of George Corn- 
Attacks of 1 December at Hagaru— Rescue of U, S. Army 

■ on , 

Task Force Drysdale 

Before the Chinese struck at Yudam-ni, they had penetrated 35 
miles farther south along the MSR. At Chinhung-ni, on the 
ni ght of 26 November, the Marines of the 1st Battalion, RCT-1, 
exchanged shots in the darkness with several elusive enemy groups 
making "light probing attacks." 

Lieutenant Colonel Donald M. Schrnuck, the new battalion com- 
mander, had set up a defensive perimeter upon arrival with his three 
rifle companies reinforced by 4.2-inch mortar and 75mm recoilless rifle 
piatoons, 1 The identity of the enemy on the night of the 26th was not 
suspected, and patrols the next day made no contacts. At 1900 on the 
27th, however, another light attack on the perimeter was repulsed, 
During the next two days, patrol actions definitely established that 
Chinese in estimated battalion strength were in a mountain valley to 
the west, hiding in houses by day and probing by night apparently in 
preparation for a determined attack. 

Schmuck decided to strike first. On the 29th, a Baker Company 
r econnaissance patrol searched out the enemy positions, and the next 
day the battalion commander led an attacking force composed of Cap- 
tain Barrow's Able Company and part of Captain Noren's Baker Com- 

'This section is based upon the following sources: IstMax SAR, 15-14; lstMir l!Rf>( 
(S-J) i3 t i_2; VMF-312 SAR, 16; UCol D. M. Schmuck interv, 2 Apr 56; Maj W. L. 
™ te s..Jr., interv by HistDiv HQMC, 16 Mar 53; Col D. M. Schmuck Comments, n. d. 



The Chos'm Reservoir Campaign 

pany, reinforced by 81mm and 4.2-inch mortars under the direction of 
Major William L. Bates, Jr., commanding the Weapons Company. 

While First Lieutenant Howard A. Blancheri's Fox Battery of 2/11 
laid down supporting fires, the infantry "ran the Chinese right out of . 
the country," according to Major Bates' account. "We burned all the 
houses they had been living in and brought the civilians back with us. 
We had no more difficulty with the Chinese from that valley." 

The Communists were found to be warmly clothed in new padded 
cotton uniforms and armed with American weapons presumably cap- 
tured from the Nationalists. An estimated 56 were killed by the ground 
forces before the Corsairs of VMF-312 took up a relentless pursuit 
which lasted until the enemy remnants scattered into hiding. Some of 
the Chinese were mounted on shaggy Mongolian ponies.* 

CCF Attacks on 2/1 at Koto-ri 

During this same period, Lieutenant Colonel Sutter's 2d Battalion of 
RCT-1 had several hard- fought encounters with the new enemy. After 
arriving at Koto-ri on the 24th, he set up a perimeter defense facing 
west, north, and east which included a 42-inch Mortar Platoon as well 
as Easy Battery of 2/11, commanded by Captain John C. McClelland, 
Jr. Some commanding ground was left unoccupied, but Sutter believed 
that a tight perimeter offered advantages over widely separated block- 
ing positions. In addition to 2/1, the regimental CP and H&S Com- 
pany, the AT Company (-) , the 4.2 Mortar Company (-) , Company D 
of the 1st Medical Battalion and the 2d Battalion of the 11th Marines 
(less Batteries D and F) were at Koto-ri. 

The perimeter, second in importance only to Hagaru as a base, was 
to be jammed during the next few days with hundreds of Marine and 
Army troops held up by CCF roadblocks to the north. On 27 November, 
the enemy made his presence known. A motorized patrol of platoon 
strength from Captain Jack A. Smith's Easy Company, supported by a 
section of tanks, engaged in a fire fight with about 25 Chinese in the 
hills west of Koto-ri. Two wounded CCF soldiers were left behind by 
the dispersed enemy. At this point the patrol proceeded on foot until 
it was stopped by the fire of an estimated 200 Communists dug in along 

224 The Cbosin Reservoir Campaign 

ridge lines. At 1600 the Marines returned to the perimeter with two 
men wounded. 

Enemy losses were reported as eight killed and 15 wounded in addi- 
tion to the two prisoners. Upon being questioned, these Chinese asserted 
that they belonged to a Chinese division assembling to the west of 
Koto-ri with a headquarters in a mine shaft. 3 

There could be no doubt the next day that the enemy had swarmed 
into the area in fairly large numbers. A Marine outpost on a hill north- 
east of the perimeter received heavy small-arms fire at 0845 and was 
reinforced by a platoon from Easy Company. Finally these troops had 
to be withdrawn and an air strike called on the hill to evict the enemy. 

At 1058 General Smith ordered Colonel Puller to push a force up 
the MSR to make contact with the tank patrol being sent south from 
Hagaru and to clear the MSR* Groups of Chinese, sighted during the 
day to the north, west and east, were taken under artillery fire by Cap- 
tain McClelland 's battery. Reconnaissance planes landing at the Koto-ri 
OY strip reported CCF roadblocks on the way to Hagaru; and at 1330 
Captain Gildo S. Codispoti, the S-3, dispatched Captain Welby W. 
Crook 1 s Dog Company in vehicles with orders to open up the route. 
Following in Dog Company's wake came the last serial of Division 
Headquarters troops, on its way to Hagam. 6 

Less than a mile north of the perimeter, the convoy ran into a storm 
of rifle and automatic weapons fire from Chinese entrenched along the 
high ground on both sides of the road. The Marines of Dog Company 
piled out of their vehicles and deployed for a hot fire fight, supported 
from Koto-ri by 81mm mortars of Captain William A. Kerr's Weapons 
Company. Two platoons swung around to clear the enemy from the 

the road. 

At 1615 a platoon from Captain Goodwin C, Groff's Fox Company 
was ordered out to assist in evacuating casualties. But as the afternoon 
wore on, it grew apparent that the Chinese were in greater strength 
than had been anticipated, and all troops were directed to return to 
Koto-ri at 1735. They did so under cover of strikes by the Corsairs of 

' IstMar SAR, 14, and appendix 10, 6; CO IstMar msg to CG IstMarDiv, 1815 and 
1?30 27 Nov 50. 

* CG IstMarDiv msg to CO IstMar, 1058 2H Nov 50. 

* The remainder of this section is based upon: 2/1 SAR, 12-13; HqBn URpl 12. LtCol 
J. C McClelland, Jr., ltr, 21 Feb 5fl; Col A. Sutter Comments, n. d. 

Task Force Drysdale 

Marine losses numbered four KIA or DOW and 34 WIA. Enemy 
casualties were estimated at 154 killed and 83 wounded in addition to 
three prisoners taken from a unit identified as the 179th Regiment of 
the 60th CCF Division. Captured Chinese weapons included 130 rifles, 
25 machine guns, and two cases of grenades. 

That evening George Company of 3/1, 4 1st Commando, Royal 
Marines, and Baker Company of the 31st Infantry, 7th Infantry Divi- 
sion, arrived at Koto-ri on their way to Hagaru (see Map 20). Colonel 
Puller and his S-3, Major Lorigan, organized the newcomers into a 
task force under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Drysdale, CO of 
the British unit, with orders to fight its way to Hagaru the following 

Luckily the enemy did not elect to attack the overcrowded perimeter 
°n the night of the 28 th. Every warming tent was packed to capacity, 
and a CCF mortar round could hardly have landed anywhere without 
doing a good deal of damage. 

After a quiet night die Chinese began the new day by digging em- 
placements in the hills to the west under harassing fire from F Company. 
The howitzers of Easy Battery and the mortars of 2/1 provided sup- 
porting fires for Task Force Drysdale when it moved out at 0945 fol- 
lowed by a convoy of Division Headquarters troops. A platoon of 
Easy Company, 2/1, went along with corpsmen and ambulances to 
assist in evacuating any early wounded back to Koto-ri. Stubborn CCF 
resistance resulted in casualties from the outset, and it was 1600 before 
the Easy Company escort platoon got back to the perimeter. 

The Chinese, keeping the perimeter under observation all day, evi- 
dently concluded that the northern rim, defended by Easy Company, 
offered the best opportunity for a penetration. Marine air strikes were 
called on the Chinese swarming over the near-by high ground during 
the last minutes of daylight, but enemy mortar rounds hit Easy Com- 
pany at 1745. They were followed by bugle calls and whistle signals 
as the CCF infantry attacked from the high ground to the northeast. 

The assault force was estimated at company strength, with the re- 
mainder of a battalion in reserve. Unfortunately for the Chinese, they 
had made their intentions clear all day with unusual activity in the sur- 
f ounding hills, and Easy Company was not surprised. Major Clarence 
J- Mabry, the 2/1 executive officer, could be heard above the machine 
guns as he shouted encouragement to Marines who poured it into the 
advancing Communists. They came on with such persistence that 17 

The Chosin Reservoir Campaign 

managed to penetrate within the lines, apparently to attack the warming 
tents. All were killed. In addition, about 150 CCF bodies lay in front 
of the sector when the enemy withdrew at 1855, after suffering a com- 
plete repulse. 

It was conjectured that the Chinese had interpreted the return of the 
Easy Company platoon late that afternoon as an indication that a gap 
in the line needed to be hastily plugged. But the supposed weak spot 
did not materialize, and at 1935 the enemy signed off for the night after 
pumping four final mortar rounds in the vicinity of the Battalion CP 
without doing any harm. Losses of 2/1 for the day were six KIA and 
18 WIA, total CCF casualties being estimated at 175 killed and 200 
wounded. Ten heavy machine guns, seven LMGs, 12 Thompson sub- 
machine guns, 76" rifles, four pistols, and 500 grenades were captured. 

That was all at Koro-ri, where Recon Company arrived during 
the day to add its weight to the defense. But during intervals of silence 
the sound of heavy and continuous firing to the north gave proof that 
Task Force Dry sd ale was in trouble. 

Convoy Reinforced by Marine Tanks 

Lieutenant Colonel Drysdale's plan of attack had called for his British 
Marines to lead out at 0930 and seize the first hill mass to the east of 
die road. Captain Sitter s George Company of 3/1 was to follow and 
pass through to attack Hill 1236, with Baker Company of the 31st In- 
fantry in reserve. LtCol Sutter, assisted by his staff, had the responsi- 
bility for planning and coordinating preparatory artillery and mortar 
fires from Koto-ri and attaching an air liaison officer to the task force. 7 
The first hill was taken without meeting serious resistance, but Sitter 
came up against well entrenched CCF troops when he attacked Hill 
1236, about a mile and a half north of Koto-ri. It was nip and tuck 
until Master Sergeant Rocco A. Zullo fired his 3.5 rocket launcher at a 

* LtCol R. E. Lorigan Comments, 16 May 56. 

' Unless otherwise specified, this section is based on: CO 4lst Commando ltt to CG 
IstMarDiv, 30 Nov 50; IstTkBn SAR, 21-27; Smith, Nates, 859-868; Mnj C. L. Sitter 
!tr to Col T. L. Ridge, 4 Oct 55; TSgt G. D. Pendas ltr to HistBr G-3, 18 Dec 55; 
Narrative of Capt M. J. Capraro, 2 Feb 56; Narrative of Capt J. D. Buck, 21 Jan 56; 
LtCol D. B. Drysdale, RM, "41 Commando," Marine Corps Gazette, xxxvii no. 8 (Aug 51), 
28-32; IstMar tel to G-3 IstMarDiv, 1705 29 Nov 50; and Lt Alfred J. Catania, "Truck 
Platoon in Korea," In Westover, Combtit Support in Korea, 53-57 ; LtCol D, B. Drysdak 1 , 
RM, Comments, n. d. 

)l/32 27 Nov 

TF Foith 
Convoy Stopped 
I Dec 

Sinhung - ni 

Perimeter 27 Nov - 1 Deo 

TF Foith 
Breoks Up 


"Hell/ire Volley 
29 Nov 

6 Nov 


,29 Nov 


28 November - 1 December 


1 i 1 , ' RoilroodD 

It FirefiQhte 


range of 200 yards. Several rounds brought the Chinese out of their 
holes and the Marines took possession of the hill. 

The Commandos and George Company moved up about a mile 
astride of the road toward the third objective, Hill 1182. There the 
enemy resisted strenuously with well-placed mortar as well as machine- 
gun fire from strong positions on the high ground. The impetus of the 
attack had been stopped when Sitter received orders from the task force 
commander to break off action, withdraw to the road, and await new 

Drysdale had received a message from RCT-1 at 1130 advising him 
that the armor of Company D (less 2d platoon), 1st Tank Battalion, 
would be available to him at 1300. He decided to wait, therefore, and 
re-form the column before continuing the advance. 

The two platoons of Company D tanks, reinforced by the tank 
platoon of the AT Company, RCT-5, reached Koto-ri at noon after 
moving out that morning from Majon-dong. Company B, 1st Tank 
Battalion, departed Tongjong-ni, just south of Majon-dong, but did 
not arrive at Koto-ri until 1500. The 2d Platoon being attached to 
Sutter's battalion, the remainder of the company was directed to bring 
up the rear of the Task Force Drysdale, which by that time had renewed 
its attack. Thus the convoy was made up of the following components, 
including the elements which joined in the late afternoon of 29 Novem- 





41 Ind. Commando, RM 

Co. G, 3/1 --- 

Co. B, 31st Infantry, USA 

Det. Div. Hq. Bn 

Det. 1st Sig. Bn 

Det. 7th MT Bn. 1 

Det. Serv. Co., Isr Tank Bn 

Co. B(-), 1st Tank Bn 

Co. DC-), 1st Tank Bn 

Plat., AT Co., RCT-5 




_ . 






3 Trailers arc included among the vehicles. George Company, J/1, lacked organic trans- 
port and was mounted in the vehicles of 7thMTBn. For similar reasons ServCo, IstTkBn, 
supplied the transportation for the 41st Commando and 377th Transportation Truck 
Company, USA, for B/31stInf. 

At 1350 the head of the column had resumed the advance, with the 

order of march as shown below: 

D/TKs & AT/5 — G/l — 41 Cmdo — B/31 — HqDn — D/TKs 
17 tks 22 veh 31 vch 22 veh 66 veh 12 tks 

Shortly after moving out, Sitter's men were hit by heavy small-arms 
fire from houses on the right of the road. The company commander 
went forward and requested the tanks to open up with their 90mm guns, 
and the Chinese flushed out of the houses were destroyed by machine- 
gun fire. 

Progress was slow because of the necessity of further halts while the 
tanks blasted out pockets of CCF resistance. Enemy mortar as well as 
small-arms fire was encountered, and a round scored a direct hit on 
one of the trucks carrying personnel of 3d Platoon of George Company, 
wounding every man in the vehicle. 

Further delays resulted while the tanks made their way over road- 
blocks or around craters. For the three infantry companies, the ad- 
vance consisted of brief periods of movement alternated with interludes 
in which the troops scrambled out of the trucks to engage in fire fights. 
Finally, about 1615, the column ground to a complete halt about four 
miles north of Koto-ri. At that time the tanks of Company B were just 
leaving the 2/1 perimeter to join the convoy. 

The Fight in Hell Fire Valley 

Drysdale and Sitter were informed by the tank officers that they thought 
the armor could get through, but that further movement for the trucks 
was inadvisable in view of road conditions and increasing enemy re- 
sistance. The task force commander requested a decision from Division 
Headquarters as to whether he should resume an advance which threat- 
ened to prove costly. It was a difficult choice for General Smith to make, 
but in view of the urgent necessity far reinforcements at Hagaru he 
directed Drysdale to continue. 8 

1 Unless otherwise noted, the sources for this section are the same as the preceding, plus: 
Statement of Opt M. C. Capraro, 12 Feb 51 ; MSgt E. F. Grayson, Sgt E. J. Keeton, and 
Cpl E. McCardell interv by Capt K. A. Shutts, 17 Feb 51; Capt M. C. Capraro interv by 
Capt Shutts, 1 1 Feb 51 ; CWO D. R. Yancey interv by Capt Shutts, It Feb 51 ; Sgt C. W. 
Dickerson, Cpl C, W. Williams, Sgt M. L. Estess, SSfit J. B. Nash, and TSgt C. L. Harri- 
son intetvs by HistDiv HQMC, 25-31 Jul 51 ; Col H. S. Walseth interv by Capt Shutts, 
26 Jan 51; LtCo! J. N, McLaughlin Comments, 5 Nov 56. Nash, Harrison, Dickerson, 
Estess, and Williams were among the men captured with McLaughlin. They escaped 
<rom Chinese imprisonment several months later. 

230 The Chosin Reservoir Campaign 

The tanks had to refuel, so that more time was lost. CCF fire was only 
moderate during this delay, thanks to the air strikes of VMF-321 planes 
directed by Captain Norman Vining. When the column stopped, the 
vehicles had pulled off into a dry stream bed. Upon resuming the ad- 
vance, unit integrity was lost and infantry elements mingled with 
headquarters troops. 

Not far south of the halfway point to Hagaru, increased enemy fire 
caused an abrupt halt in a long valley. The high ground rose sharply 
on the right of the road, while on the left a frozen creek wound through 
a plain several hundred yards -wide, bordered by the Changjin River 
and wooded hills. This was Hell Fire Valley— a name applied by Drys- 
dale— and it was to be the scene of an all-night fight by half the men 
of the convoy (see Map 21). 

Such a possibility was far from their thoughts when they piled out 
of the trucks once more, as they had done repeatedly all day, to return 
the enemy's fire. It did not even seem significant when an enemy mortar 
shell set one of the trucks in flames at the far end of the valley, thus 
creating a roadblock and splitting the column. The enemy took ad* 
vantage of the opportunity to pour in small-arms and mortar fire which 
pinned down the troops taking cover behind vehicles or in the roadside 

lamaged truck. During this inter- 
lude the head of the column, consisting of Dog/Tanks, George Com- 
pany, nearly three-fourths of the 4 1st Commando and a few Army in- 
fantrymen, continued the advance, with Drysdale in command, in obedi- 
ence to orders to proceed to Hagaru at all costs. Left behind in Hell 
Fire Valley were 61 Commandos, most of Company B, 31st Infantry, 
and practically all the Division Headquarters and Service troops. 

Lieutenant Colonel Arthur A. Chidester, assistant Division G-4 and 
senior officer caught south of the roadblock, ordered the barred vehicles 
to turn around and attempt a return to Koto-ri. Before his orders could 
be carried out, a Chinese attack severed the convoy about 200 yards 
to the north of him. Other enemy attacks cut the road south of the 
stalled convoy, both Chidester and Major James K. Eagan being 
wounded and captured. 

Shallow ditches on either side of the road and the unused narrow- 
gauge railway were utilized by the isolated troops as protection from 
the fire of the Chinese occuping the high ground rising abruptly at the 
right. The valley was about a mile long, covered with a frozen crust 
of snow; and far from affording much cover, it offered the enemy a 
convenient approach to the rear by way of the wide plain and frozen 

The Chinese fire was not heavy at first. But when darkness put an 
e nd to Marine air strikes, the enemy became increasingly bolder. 
Even so, there was no attempt for several hours to close within grenade- 
throwing distance. During this interlude the defenders had time to 
recover from their confusion and take defensive positions. 

As nearly as the scene can be reconstructed from confused and con- 
tradictory accounts, one large and three small perimeters were strung 
out over a distance of perhaps 1200 yards from north to south. Toward 
the north, near the outskirts of the village of Pusong-ni, was the largest 
perimeter. It contained the troops caught north of the second fracture 
of the column and was led by Major John N. McLaughlin. His hodge- 
podge of 130 to 140 men included Captain Charles Peckham and part 
of his B Company, 31st Infantry; Warrant Officer Lloyd V. Dirst and 
a group of Marine MPs; some Commandos, Associated Press photog- 
rapher Frank Noel, and assorted Marine service and headquarters 

*Maj McLaughlin was one of the TTU instructors who liad transferred to the X Corps 
Staff. He was an Assistant G-3 and C 

The three smaller perimeters appear to have resulted from the 
splintering of a larger group originally containing nearly all the men 
caught south of the second cut in the convoy. Major Henry J. Seetey, 
Division motor transport officer, attempted to form a perimeter with 
these men but was frustrated by Chinese attacks which forced the men 
to fall back in small groups. About 300 yards south of McLaughlin's 
perimeter the remnants of two Army platoons crouched in a drainage 
ditch. Apparently several Marines, including CWO Dee R. Yancey, 
were with them. Some 30 yards farther down the ditch were Captain 
Michael J. Capraro, the Division PIO, First Lieutenant John A, Buck, 
General Craig s aide, and about 15 headquarters troops. A few other 
Marines clustered around Major Seeley, perhaps a hundred yards south 
of Capraro 's group. 10 

There was some hope at first that the tanks of Baker Company, 1st 
Tank Battalion, would come to the rescue. But the Marine armor ran 
into heavy opposition near Hills 1236 and 1182 along the road cleared 
only a few hours before by Task Force Drysdale, 

When attacking a convoy, the Chinese usually strove to split the 
motorized column into segments suitable for tactical mastication. That 
is what happened to Baker Company. The tanks and trucks nearest to 
Koto-ri got back without much trouble at 2110 after the enemy cut 
the column into three groups. The middle group, comprising most of 
the service trucks, was hit hardest. Lieutenant Colonel Harvey S. Wal- 
serb, the Division G-l, was wounded as this group finally fought back 
to Koto-ri at 0230 after heavy losses in trucks. This left the tank 
platoon winch had proceeded farthest; and it formed a tight perimeter 
for the night about half a mile south of Seeley's position, boxed in by 
friendly artillery fires from Koto-ri. At dawn the tanks returned to 
Koto-ri without further enemy interference. 

No knowledge of these events reached the beleaguered troops in 
Hell Fire Valley. They continued to hope that the tanks might arrive 
to the aid of men who had no weapons larger than a single 75mm 
recoilless in addition to rifles, carbines, and grenades. There were also 
a few 60mm mortars but no ammunition for them. 

Fortunately, no determined Chinese attacks were received up to 
midnight. Looting the trucks proved more alluring than fighting to the 

10 Distances are approximate, since it is understandable that estimates made by participants 
in the darkness varied a great deal. 

Task Force Drysdale 


Asiatics, and their officers contented themselves with keeping the perim- 
eters pinned down and enveloped on three sides. 

Not until the early hours of 30 November did the Communists re- 
sort to probing attacks by small groups armed with grenades. The 
headquarters and service troops gave a good account of themselves in 
the fire fight. Signalmen, clerks, cooks, truck drivers, military police- 
men — the Marines of Hell Fire Valley included a good many veterans of 
World War II, and they proved as steady as the tough combat-trained 
Commandos. Once again the value of the Marine Corps insistence on 
good basic training showed itself. 

Major McLaughlin sent reconnaissance parties south in an unsuc- 
cessful attempt to link up with the other perimeters. He decided, there- 
fore, to remain in his positions and fight off the Chinese until air 
could come on station at dawn. The wounded were placed in the deep- 
est of the three ditches and Army medics gave first aid. 

As the night wore on, McLaughlin's situation became increasingly 
grave. By 0200 his men were out of grenades. An Army crew per- 
formed valiantly with the 75mm recoil less, firing at enemy mortar flashes 
until all the soldiers were killed or wounded and the gun put out of ac- 
tion. Twice McLaughlin's men drove the Chinese from their mortars 
only to have them return. 

Some of the Commandos managed to slip out of the perimeter in an 
effort to reach Koto-ri and summon assistance. But an attempt by Noel 
and two men to run the gantlet in a jeep between 0200 and 0300 ended 
in their capture before they proceeded a hundred yards. 

At about 0430 the Chinese sent their prisoners to the perimeter with 
a surrender demand. McLaughlin, accompanied by a Commando, went 
out to parley through an interpreter in the hope of stalling until help 
arrived, or at least until some of the men escaped. 

"Initially I demanded a CCF surrender!" he recalls. "But it made 
little impression. 

The Marine officer stalled until the Chinese threatened to overrun 
the perimeter with an all-out attack. They gave him ten minutes to 
discuss the capitulation with his officers. McLaughlin went from one 
to another of the approximately 40 able bodied men he had left. Some 
had no rifle ammunition at all and none had more than eight rounds. 
For the sake of his wounded, he consented to surrender on condition 
that the serious cases be evacuated. The Chinese agreed and the fight 
in Hell Fire Valley ended. 


The Cbosin Reservoir Campaign 

McLaughlin succeeded in killing enough time so that more men were 
given the opportunity to slip away while the enemy relaxed his vigilance 
during the prolonged negotiations. Largest of these groups was com- 
posed of the survivors of the three small perimeters. Capraro and Buck, 
both of whom were slightly wounded, managed to unite with the Army 
infantrymen just north of them and nine Commandos, who joined them 
at about 0200. An hour and a half later they linked up with the Ma- 
rines under Seeley, who led the combined group in a withdrawal to the 
high ground across the river. Outdistancing their CCF pursuers, after 
shooting down several, they made it safely to Koto-ri. 

Other groups, including three more Commandos and 71 Army in- 
fantrymen, also contrived to straggle back to the 2/1 perimeter. 

Although the Chinese did not keep their word as to evacuation of 
the wounded, they did not interfere with the removal of the more 
critical cases to a Korean house. When the enemy retired to the hills 
for the day, an opportunity was found to evacuate these casualties to 
Koto-ri. 11 

An accurate breakdown of the Task Force Drysdale casualties will 
probably never be made, but the following estimate is not far from 
the mark: 




Vehicles 1 

- - - — 

41st Commando 

Co. G, 3/1 

Co. B, 1/31 

Div. Hq. Bn 

1st Sig. Bn 

7th MT Bn ; „_ 

Scrv. Co., 1st Tank Bn 

Co. BC-), 1st Tank Bn 

Co. D(-), 1st Tank Bn 

Plat, AT Co., RCT-5. 






~ - 





162 159 



Noiw, 867-868. 

11 LtCol Chidester and Maj Eagan were still missing at the end of the conflict, when the 
exchanges of prisoners took place. From the information that LtCol McLaughlin has been 
able to secure, it appears that both officers died of wounds prior to reaching a prison camp, 
Mclaughlin Comments, 5 Nov 56. 

"The casualties of Task Force Drysdale were heavy," commented 
General Smith, "but by its partial success the Task Force made a sig- 
nificant contribution to the holding of Hagaru which was vital to the 
Division. To the slender infantry garrison of Hagaru were added a 
tank company of about 100 men and some 300 seasoned infantrymen. 
The approximately 300 troops which returned to Koto-ri participated 
thereafter in the defense of that perimeter." 13 

The head of the Task Force Drysdale column, with the Company D 
tanks leading George Company and the Commandos, was not aware 
at dusk on the 29th that the convoy had been cut behind them. There 
had been previous gaps during the stops and starts caused by enemy 
fire, and it was supposed at first that the thin-skinned vehicles would 
catch up with the vanguard. 

Progress was fairly good, despite intermittent fire from the high 
ground on the right of the road, until the tanks reached a point about 
2200 yards from Hagaru. There the column was stopped by concen- 
trated CCF mortar and small-arms fire. One of the tanks was so dam- 
aged by a satchel charge that it had to be abandoned, and several 
vehicles were set afire. After Drysdale was wounded the command 
passed to Sitter, who formed his force into a perimeter until the repulse 
of the Chinese permitted the march to be resumed. 13 

Several pyramidal tents just outside the Hagaru perimeter were 
assumed to be occupied by friendly troops until enemy in the vicinity 
destroyed two George Company trucks and caused several casualties. 
Later it was learned that the tents had been originally occupied by 
troops of the 10th Engineer Battalion and abandoned when the Chinese 
attacked on the 2Sth. 

At 1915, Captain Sitter reported to Lieutenant Colonel Ridge, who 
directed that George Company and the 41st Commando spend the night 
in perimeter reserve. After their all-day fight, the men of the column 
could scarcely believe their eyes when they saw the Marine engineers 
at work on the airstrip under the floodlights. 

" Hid. A postscript to the Hell Fire Valley fight was written the following spring in 
front-page headlines announcing the escape from a CCF prison camp of 17 enlisted 
Marines and a soldier. Among them were five NCOs who contributed firsthand accounts 
far these pages. Of the 44 Marines listed as MIA, a total of 25 either escaped or sur- 
vived their prison camp experiences and were liberated in Operation Dig Switch. 

This section, except where otherwise specified, has been derived from the following 
sources: 3/1 SAR 26 Nov-15 Dee 30, 4-5, 8-9; IstTkBn SAR. 2-1-25; Ridge, Nous; 
5'tter itr, 4 Oct 55; Simmons interv, 22 Mar 56; Jochums Itr, 16 Dec 55; Can7.ona narra- 
tive, 27 Mar 56; Carey narrative, 3 Feb 56. 

Contrary to expectations, the hours of darkness on 29-30 November 
passed in comparative quiet at Hagam except for CCF harassing fires. 
It was not a coincidence that the enemy kept his distance. Attacks 
on the East Hill and Item and How Company positions of 3/1 actually 
had been planned and partly executed by troops of the 58th CCF Divi- 
sion according to POW testimony. They were broken up by Marine 
air attacks and supporting fires which hit the assembly areas. 

The effectiveness of these fires owed a good deal to the intelligence 
brought back to Lieutenant Carey, the Battalion S-2, by CIC agents 
who circulated among Chinese troops on 27 and 28 November. The 
Battalion S-2 had a work table at the CP beside Major Simmons, the 
SAC, who directed six sorties of the night hecklers of VMF(N)-542. 
He guided the planes through the darkness to their targets with a fiery 
arrow as converging machine-gun tracer bullets crossed over suspected 
CCF assembly areas. 

The 81mm mortars of Weapons Company, 3/1, fired about 1100 
rounds during the night, and the corresponding unit of 2/7 made a 
noteworthy contribution. The following day, according to Carey, Chi- 
nese prisoners reported that "most of the units employed around Hagaru 
were very badly hit." 1 * 

A few white phosphorus mortar rounds fell in the lines of How and 
Item Companies, and a CCF green flare caused an alert for an attack 
which never materialized. In the early morning hours of the 30th an 
enemy concentration appeared to be taking place on the Item Company 
front, but intensive 60mm mortar fire put an end to the threat. 


Attack of George Company on East Hill 

At 0800, the battalion commander ordered Geor 
East Hill while the Commandos remained in reserve, 
called for his 1st and 2d platoons, commanded by Second Lieutenants 
Frederick W. Hopkins and John W. Jaeger respectively, to pass through 
Myers' group, then make a sharp left turn and attack on either side of 
the ridge. First Lieutenant Carl E. Dennis' 3d Platoon and two platoons 
of Able Company engineers were to follow in reserve. 
Slow progress caused the George Company commander to modify the 

" This account of Marine supporting fires on the night of 29-30 November is based on: 
Carey narrative, 3 Feb 56; LiCol E. H. Simmons interv, 22 Mar 56; 3/1 SAR 26 Ncv- 
15 Dec SO, 4-5. 


30 November 


plan by giving his 3d platoon and the two engineer platoons the mis- 
sion of enveloping the CCF right flank (see Map 22), Lieutenant 
Dennis led the attack, with First Lieutenant Ernest P. Skelt's and Lieu- 
tenant Canzona's engineer platoons following. 

Neither of the George Company attacks was successful. The tramp 1 
ling of hundreds of feet over the snow had made the footing moif 
treacherous than ever; and once again the combination of difficult ter- 
rain and long-range Chinese fire accounted for failure to retake East 
Hill. Sitter's request to set up defense positions on the ground pre- 
viously occupied by Myers was granted. Meanwhile Dennis' platoon 
and the engineers were directed to withdraw to the foot of the im 
so that the Corsairs could work the CCF positions over with rockets 
and bombs. 

High Level Command Conference 

Although the Marines at Hagaru had little to do witii the higher levels 
of strategy, it was evident that the continued retreat of the Eightl' 
Army in west Korea must ultimately affect the destinies of X Corps- 
Of more immediate concern was the deteriorating situation of the three 
battalions (two infantry and one artillery) of the 7th Infantry Divi- 
sion east of the Chosin Reservoir. Brigadier General Henry I. HodeS. 
assistant division commander, informed General Smith at noon on th c 
29th that the Army troops had suffered approximately 400 casualties 
while falling back toward Hagaru and were unable to fight their way 
out to safety. At 2027 that night, all troops in the Chosin Reservoii 
area, including the three Army battalions, were placed under the opera' 
tional control of the Marine commander by X Corps. The 1st Marifl f 
Division was directed to "redeploy one RCT without delay from Yii' 
dam-ni area to Hagaru area, gain contact with elements of the 7th Inf 
Div E of Chosin Reservoir; co-ordinate all forces in and N of Hagan 1 
in a perimeter defense based on Hagaru; open and secure HagarU' 
Koto-ri MSR/' 1B 

On the afternoon of the 30th a command conference was held a* 
Hagaru in the Division CP, Generals Almond, Smith, Barr, and Hode* 
were informed at the briefing session that a disaster threatened the 
three Army battalions. 1 " 

" X Corps 01 19, 29 Nov 50. „ 
10 Smith, ChronitU, 95; X Corps WD Sum, Nov 50, 16-11; CG's Diary Extracts in > 
Corps WD, 30 Nov 50. 

Task Force Drysdale 239 

Almond was also much concerned about the attacks on the Marine 
MSR. He had been given a firsthand account that morning by the 
senior Marine officer on the X Corps staff, Colonel Edward H. Forney, 
who had just returned from Koto-ri. 17 

At the Hagaru conference the X Corps commander announced that 
he had abandoned any idea of consolidating positions in the Chosin 
Reservoir area. Stressing the necessity for speed in falling back toward 
Hamhung, he promised Smith resupply by aii after authorizing him to 
burn or destroy all equipment which would delay his withdrawal to 
the seacoast. 

The Marine general replied that his movements must be governed by 
his ability to evacuate his wounded. He would have to fight his way 
°ut, he added, and could not afford to discard equipment; it was his 
intention, therefore, to bring out the bulk of it. 18 

Almond directed Smith and Barr to draw up a plan and time schedule 
fot extricating the Army battalions east of the Reservoir. Those two 
generals agreed, however, that not much could be done until the Yudam- 

Marines arrived at Hagaru, and the conference ended on an incon- 
clusive note. That same afternoon X Corps OpnO 8-50 was received. 
It defined the Corps mission as "maintaining contact with the enemy 
to the maximum capability consistent with cohesive action, oriented to 
the Hamhung-Hungnam base of operation." 10 

The decision to concentrate X Corps forces in that area meant the 
evacuation of Wonsan. General Harris lost no time in directing MAG- 
to move from Wonsan Airfield to Yonpo. Hedron-12 and the 
three combat squadrons began shifting personnel and equipment at 
°nce. Transfer of the aircraft was completed on 1 December. In many 
instances the planes took off on combat missions from Wonsan and 
landed at Yonpo, so that the ground forces were not deprived of air 
support. 20 

High level naval commanders were already preparing for an evacua- 
tion of northeast Korea if matters came to the worst. Admiral Joy 
foresaw as early as the 28th that if the retreat of the battered Eighth 

" Col E. H. Forney, Transcript of Special Report, Deputy Chief of Staff, X Corps, 
J 9 August, 21 December 1950, 3. £&s~.m -u 

Smith, Chronicle, 95. These decisions were confirmed by CG X Corps rasg X 13522, 
* Dec 50 

" X Corps OpnO S, 30 Nov 50. See also X Corps WD Sum, Nop 50, 16-17; and 
CG 's Diary Extracts in X Corps WD 30 Nov 50. 

. MAG-12 HD Noo 50, 8; IstMAW HD Dec 50; CO MAG-12 msg to Movement 
Report Office (MRO) Tokyo, 0S05 2 Dec 50 in ibid. VMF-312 HD, Dec 50. 

The Chosin Reservoir Campaign 

Army continued, X Corps would have to choose between falling back 
and being outflanked. In view of the time needed to collect the enormous 
quantities of shipping required, he warned Admiral Doyle on that date 
that a large-scale redeployment operation might be necessary. Doyle in 
turn directed his staff to commence planning for redeployment either 
by an administrative outloading or by a fighting withdrawal. 21 

CCP Attacks of i December at Hagaru 

During the early hours of darkness on 30 November, it appeared that 
Hagaru might have a second quiet night. Three bugle calls were 
heard by Item Company at 2015, and the enemy sent up a green flare an 
hour later. But no unusual CCF activity was reported until 2330, when 
small patrols began probing for weak spots in the Item Company lines. 

The enemy could scarcely have chosen a less rewarding area for 
such research. As usual, Lieutenant Fisher had built up an elaborate 
system of concertinas, trip flares, and booby traps ; and his sandbagged 
foxholes and weapon emplacements afforded his men maximum pro- 
tection. At midnight, when the enemy came on in strength, each suc- 
cessive assault wave shattered against the terrific fire power which a 
Marine rifle company, aided by artillery, tanks, 81mm mortars, and 
heavy machine guns, could concentrate. 

Several times the enemy's momentum carried him to the Item Com- 
pany foxholes but no Communists lived to exploit their advantage. Or) 
one^of these occasions Sergeant Charles V. Davidson, having expended 

last of his attackers,- 2 

Again, as on die night of the 28 th, the enemy had chosen to launch 
his major attack against Marine strength, though his daytime observa- 
tion must have disclosed the preparations for a hot reception in the Item 
Company sector. An estimated 500 to 750 Chinese were killed on this 
front at a cost to Fisher's men of two KIA and 10 WIA, £S 

The Chinese also repeated themselves by carrying out another attack 
on East Hill which ended in a second costly stalemate. The western 
slope up to the military crest was held by the following units from 
right to left: First Lieutenant Ermine L. Meeker's 1st Platoon of Baker 

Jj ComPhibGruOne, Anion Report for Hungnam Redeployment, December WQ. 1. 
"3/1 "AH' 26 Nov-iS Dec 50, 5; Ridge, Notes, 


Task Force Drysdah 241 

Company engineers; the 2d, 1st, and 3d Platoons of George Company; 
and Lieutenant Skelt's 3d Platoon of Able Company Engineers. To the 
' e ft of Skelt, near the foot of the hill, were Lieutenant Canzona's 1st 
Platoon of Able engineers; two tanks of the AT Company, 2/7; and 
elements of Lieutenant Colonel Banks' 1st Service Battalion. 2 * 
. The action began shortly before midnight with one of those comedy 
Sl hiations which develop on the grimmest occasions. The sign or pass- 
word was "Abraham" and the countersign "Lincoln," but two Com- 
pany A engineers on a listening post did not pause for the customary 
exchange. Having been jumped by what their startled eyes look to be a 
Chinese regiment, they sprinted downhill yelling, "Abraham Lincoln! 
Abraham Lincoln!" as they slid into Skelt's lines with the enemy close 

His engineers had no leisure for a laugh. "Within a few seconds they 
w ere mixing it in a wild melee with Communists who seemed literally 
™ drop on them from above. Meanwhile, George Company was hard 
hit by well aimed mortar fire which threatened to wipe out Lieutenant 
Hopkins' 1st Platoon. The ensuing double-headed CCF attack bent 
Jack the left flank of George Company, with both the 1st and 3d 
p latoons giving ground. 

On the left Skelt's platoon was pushed down to the foot of the 
"ill by superior enemy numbers after exactly half of his 28 men were 
killed or wounded. Here the fight continued with Banks' service troops 
lending a hand until the Chinese were exterminated. 

This penetration was a hollow triumph for the enemy. No friendly 
forces being left in the center, the How Battery howitzers walked shells 
U P and down the western slope. Mortars and machine guns chimed in, 
ari d Lieutenant Canzona's platoon was in position to direct the fire 
°f the two tanks of AT Company 2 fl. 

The scene became bright as day after an enemy artillery shell set 50 
drums of gasoline ablaze in a Supply Area dump. Like an enormous 
!° r ch, the flames illuminated the battle so vividly that General Smith 
jooked on from the doorway of his CP, some 1200 yards away. Several 
bullets pierced the roof and walls during the night. 

Again, as in the fight of 28-29 November, Marine fire power blocked 
*oe gap on the central and northwest slopes of East Hill. Marine and 

„ "Sources for the balance of this section are as follows: Smith, Chronicle, 97-100; 3/1 
26 Nov-15 Dec 50, 5-6; Ridge, Notes; Sitter Itr, 4 Oct 55; Canzona narrative, 
5 w ar 56; Pendas Itr, 18 Dec 55; Carey Itr, 14 Feb 56; Opt E. L Meeker interv, 10 
A Pr 56. 

242 The Chosln Reservoir Campaign 

Army service troops took a part in the righting which is the more 
creditable considering that they were ordered out in the middle of the 
night, placed in a provisional unit with strange troops, and marched 
off into the darkness to attack or defend at some critical point. 

Lieutenant Meeker's engineer platoon, on the right of George Com- 
pany, had a long-drawn fire fight but got off with losses of one man 
killed and three wounded. At 0100 the CCF pressure on Sitter's troops 
was so heavy that Lieutenant Carey, former commander of the 1st 
Platoon, was taken from his S-2 duties to lead a group of reinforce- 
ments which he described as "all available hands from the CP or any 
other units in Hagaru who could spare personnel." Carrying as much 
ammunition as possible, he arrived at the George Company CP to- find 
Sitter still commanding in spite of his wound. Scarcely a full squad 
was left of Carey's old outfit when he helped to restore the lines. 

It was necessary for Ridge to send a further reinforcement consisting 
of British Marines of the 4 1st Commando before George Company's 
left flank was secured. A counterattack at daybreak regained lost 
ground, and the situation was well under control when air came on 
station at 0900. 

Thus ended another night of confusion and frustration for both 
sides on East Hill. While the Chinese attack had been better organized 
and in larger force than the effort of the 29th, it was too little and too 
late for decisive results in spite of heavy losses. On the other hand, 
George Company and its reinforcing elements had suffered an estimated 
60 men killed and wounded. 

Although the Marines of Hagaru could not have suspected it on the 
morning of 1 December, the enemy had, for the time being, shot his 
bolt. His first two large-scale attacks, as POW interrogations were 
to confirm, had used up not only the personnel of a division but most 
of the limited supplies of ammunition available. Thus it is probable 
that the following estimates of CCF casualties, as published in the 3/1 
report, for the period of 28 November to 5 December, were nearer to 
accuracy than most such summaries: 

(1) 58th CCF Division: Estimated casualties of 3300 for the 172d Regi- 
ment; 1750 each for the 173d and 174th Regiments. 

(2) 59th CCF Division: Estimated 1750 casualties for the 17(5th Regiment. 
No Other units identified. 

The known Chinese dead in the two night battles amounted to at 
least 1500; and if it may be assumed that three or four times that 
number were wounded, the total casualties would have crippled an 

Task Force Drysdale 


enemy infantry division o£ 7500 to 10,000 men, plus an additional 
regiment. Considering the primitive state of CCF supply and medical 
service, moreover, it is likely that hundreds died of wounds and priva- 
tions behind their own lines. 

The losses of 3/1 at Hagaru were given as 33 KIA, 10 DOW, 2 MIA, 
and 270 WIA— a total of 315 battle casualties, nearly all of which 
were incurred from 28 November to 1 December." 8 There are no 
over-all casualty figures for Marine or Army service troops, but it is 
probable that their total losses exceeded those of 3/1. 

Rescue of U. 5. 

Casualties estimated as high as 75 per cent were suffered by the three 
U. S. Army battalions east of the Reservoir. At 2200 on the night of 
1 December, the first survivors, most of them walking wounded, reached 
the Marine lines north of Hagaru with tales of frightful losses suf- 
fered in the five days of continual fighting since the first CCF attack 
°n the night of 27-28 November. 

Following this action Colonel Allan D. MacLean, commanding the 
51st Infantry, had set up a perimeter near Sinhung-ni with the 3d Bat- 
talion of his regiment and the 1st Battalion of the 57th Field Artillery. 
Along the shore farther to the north, Lieutenant Colonel Don C. Faith, 
USA, held a separate perimeter with the 1st Battalion, 32d Infantry 
(see Map 20). 20 

Both positions were hard hit by the Chinese on the night of 27-28 
November and isolated from each other. During the next 24 hours they 
beat off CCF attacks with the support of Marine and FEAF planes, and 
Faith fought his way through to a junction with the Sinhung-ni force. 

When the senior officer was killed, Faith took command of all three 
battalions. Immobilized by nearly 500 casualties, he remained in the 
Sinhung-ni perimeter, where he was supplied by air. On the 29th Gen- 
ial Hodes sent a relief force in company strength from 31st Infantry 
"nits in the area just north of Hagaru. These troops, supported by 

=1 Ridge, Notes; Smith, Notes, 854. 

"The sources for the operations of Task Force Faith, unless otherwise noted, are: 
^atement of Capt Edward P. Stamford, n. d., 2-15 ; Statement of Dr. Lee Tong Kak, n. d.; 
^Pt Martin Blum en son, USA, "Chosin Reservoir," in Capt Russell A. Gugeler, Combat 
Actions in Korea, 6J-86; X Corps WD Sum, Not' 50, 33— 3-i. Chinese accounts of these 
3 «ions may be found in ATIS Enemy Documents: Korean Campaign, Issue 84, 7-15 
?jd 20-25. UCol Faith had distinguished himself in World War II as aide to MajGen 
■Matthew B. Ridgway, then commanding the 82d Airborne Div, 

244 The Chasm Reservoir Campaign 

several Army tanks, were hurled back by superior CCF numbers with 
the loss of two tanks and heavy personnel casualties. 

On 1 December, fearing that he would be overwhelmed in his Sin 
hung-ni perimeter, Faith attempted to break through to Hagaru. Aftef 
destroying the howitzers and all but the most essential equipment, tW 
convoy with its hundreds of wounded moved out under the constant 
cover of Marine close air support, controlled by Captain Edward P" 
Stamford, USMC. 2T 

Progress was slow and exhausting, with frequent stops for fire fights- 
There were many instances of individual bravery in the face of adversity! 
but losses of officers and NCOs gradually deprived the units of leader*: 
ship. As an added handicap, a large proportion of the troops welS 
ROKs who understood no English. 

The task force came near to a breakout. At dusk it was only four ana! 
a half miles from Hagaru when Faith fell mortally wounded and th3 
units shattered into leaderless groups. 28 Soon the column had ceased to' 
exist as a military force. A tragic disintegration set in as wounded and 
frostbitten men made their way over the ice of the Reservoir in wretched 
little bands drawn together by a common misery rather than discipline. 

By a miracle the first stragglers to reach Hagaru got through the 
mine fields and trip flares without harm. Before dawn a total of about 
670 survivors of Task Force Faith had been taken into the warming 
tents of Hagaru. 1 

Lieutenant Colonel Beall, commanding officer of the 1st Motor Trans- 
port Battalion, made a personal search in the morning for other suf' 
vivors. Finding more than his jeep could carry, he organized a task f ortf 
of trucks, jeeps, and sleds. The only CCF opposition to the Marines 
came in the form of long-distance sniping which grew so troublesontf 
late in the afternoon that the truckers set up a machine gun section of 
the ice for protection. Far from hindering the escape of the Arm]f 
wounded, the Chinese actually assisted in some instances, thus adding 
to the difficulty of understanding the Oriental mentality. 20 

I, VMF(N)~542 SAR, sec C, 1-2; VMF(N)-542 HD, Dec 50, 1-2; IstMAW SA&\ 
annex J, (hereafter MAG-33 SAR), sec B, 5, 8-9. See also descriptions of air support 9 
lstLt H. | Wilson interv by Capt J. I. Kiernan, Jr., 29 Jan 51 ; IstLt K. E. Kiester inter-' 
by Capt Kiernan, 25 Jan 51; Capt C. P. Blanlccnship interv by Capt Kiernan, 26 Jan 5Ji' 
and IstLt w". R. Lipscomb interv by Capt Kiernan, 18 Feb 51. 

18 The courageous Army officer was awarded posthumously a Congressional Medal n 

"The account of the rescue of survivors from Task Force Faith is based upon; IstMa'] 
Div SAR, annex Q (hereafter DivSurgcon SAR), n. p. and appendix H, 10; Statement 0> 
LtCol O, L. Beall, n, d,; IstMarDiv POR 197; Smith, Notes, 902-906; and Smith, 
Chronicle, 98, 100. 

USMC Photo A 5G7P 

This W as Hagartt — Two views of the Marine forward base at the foot 
of the Chosin Reservoir, with East Hill in the background; here the 
troops reorganized for the final breakout. 

USMC Photo A Mi 

Patrol Actions — Task forces, ranging in size from a squad to a battalion, 
sometimes supported by tanks as well as air and artillery, were employed 
for specific missions during the breakout. 

Before and After Taking — Two views, only a few seconds apart, of the 
effective close air support given Marine infantry; the plane is bidden 
by the dense cloud of black smoke. 

U $MC Photo A S440 

USMC Piioto A 5685 

The Hagaru Airstrip—Above, walking wounded awaiting evacuation 
in an Air Force C~47 which jle-w in artillery ammunition; beloiv, casual- 
ties leave their rifles behind but will take out much-needed parachutes 
shown in the foreground. 

USMC Ptioto A 5398 

Helicopter and Ambulance Evacuation — Above, the helicopters of 
VMO-6 flew out casualties from areas which otherwise could not have 
been reached; below, ambulances had their moments, too, as this bullet- 
riddled specimen shows. 

JS MC Photo A 5461 

USMC photo A | 

Breakout from Ha gar u— Above, crippled vehicles are simply pushed 
off the road; below, at every halt the weary gravel-crunchers sink ex- 
hausted into the snow. 

USMC Photo A 5428 

Photos courtesy LtGcn E, A, Craig and Opt R. W, Crook 

Victims of Communist Aggression — Three views of the Korean refu- 
gees, ranging from infants to patriarchs, who followed the Marine 
column all the way to Hungnam. 

A P1 ">toSC355on 

Magnificent Air Support — Above, crewmen check rockets of a Corsair 
fighter-bomber; and, below, one of the old Grumman TBMs resurrected 
for casualty evacuation from Koto-ri. 

USMC Photo A 5361 

Fighting in the Heavyweight Division— Above, Marine tanks awaiting 
withdrawal from Koio-ri; below, Army self-propelled 155mm howitzers 
firing from the Chinhung-ni area. 

J 5A PJmto SC 354J4C 

USMC Photo A 5372 

Through the Swirling Flakes— The march southward from Koto-ri be- 
gins in a snowstorm as a Marine infantry battalion attacks northward 
from Chinhung-ni to open up the MSR, 

USMC Photo A 5370 

USMC Photo A 5383 

The Endless Column of March— Two more views of the column, the 
first elements of which reached Chinhung-ni before the last troops 
departed Kolo-ri, ten miles to the rear, 

US MC Photd A JJS6 

LTSMC Photo A 5466 USMC Photo A 54« 

Clearing the Flanks—Tanks and infantry ivork together to clear the 
flanks of enemy combat groups which watched for every opportunity 
to attack from the high ground. 

USMC Photo A 53<j9 

USMC Photo A 5}7C> 

A fob for the Engineers — Above, this gap had to be spanned if the 
vehicles ivere to be brought out from Koto-ri; below, infantry crossing 
over air-dropped Treadway bridge. 

' S MC P|i 0t0 A 5408 

USN Photo 421 JOS 

USN Photo Al4i% 

The Hun gn ant Redeployment — -Aboi'e, two views of Marines who were 
first X Corps troops to embark; below, a glimpse of the thousands of 
tons of equipment to be loaded. 

USA Photo SC 

DSN Photo 

Waterfront Panoramas — Above, these two LSTs were among the last 
to be loaded; below, the final demolitions scene, with the USS Begor 
(APD 127) shown hi the foreground. 

US N Photo 424291 

USN Photo 424567 

The Honored Dead — On the day of his departure from Hungnam the 
commanding general of the 1st Marine Division visits the cemetery for 
a last silent tribute to the dead. 

Task Force Drysdale 245 

Of the 319 soldiers rescued by Beall on 2 December, nearly all were 
wounded or frostbitten. Some were found wandering about in aimless 
circles on the ice, in a state of shock. 

A company-size task force of Army troops from Hagaru, supported 
by tanks, moved out that day to bring in any organized units of the 
three shattered battalions which might have been left behind. Known 
as Task Force Anderson after Lieutenant Colonel Berry K. Anderson, 
senior Army officer at Hagaru, the column met heavy CCF opposition 
and was recalled when it became evident that only stragglers remained. 30 

Beall and his men kept up their rescue work until the last of an esti- 
mated 1050 survivors of the original 2500 troops had been saved. A 
Marine reconnaissance patrol counted more than 300 dead in the aban- 
doned trucks of the Task Force Faith convoy, and there were apparently 
hundreds of MIA. The 385 able-bodied soldiers who reached Hagaru 
were organized into a provisional battalion and provided with Marine 
equipment, 81 

First Landings on Hagaru Airstrip 

Casualty evacuation had become such a problem by 1 December that 
Captain Eugene R. Hering, (MC) USN, the Division surgeon, called 
at General Smith's CP that morning. He reported that some 600 casual- 
ties at Hagaru were putting a severe strain on the limited facilities 
of C and E Companies of the 1st Medical Battalion. It was further 
estimated that 500 casualties would be brought in by the Yudam-ni 
units and 400 from the three Army battalions east of the Reservoir. 82 

Although both figures were to prove far too low, they seemed alarm- 
ingly high at a time when only the most critical casualties could be 
evacuated by helicopter or OY. Flying in extreme cold and landing at 
btgh altitudes where the aircraft has less than normal lift, the pilots 
of Major Gottschalk's VMO-6 saved scores of lives. From 27 Novem- 
ber to 1 December, when the transports took over, 152 casualties were 

< * IstMarDiv G-3 Journal 1-2 Dec 50, entry 18; G-3 IstMarDiv tel to S-3 11-12 
Mar, 1150 2 Dec 50. 

n Ibid. Estimates of tlie number of soldiers evacuated by air from Hagaru as casualties 
run as high as 1500, bur no accurate records were kept. Any such total, moreover, would 
have to include men from the Army units stationed at Hagaru as well as survivors of 
'he Task Force Faith disaster. 

u DivSurgeon SAR, n. p.; Smith, Noles, 990-994, and Chronicle, 1 Dec 50; Capt E. R. 
Hering, 'Address Before U. S. Association of Military Surgeons" 9 Oct 51 ; and "Address 
Before American Medical Association Convention," 14 Jun 5 1. 

246 The Chosin Reservoir I 

evacuated by the OYs and helicopters— 109 from Yudam-ni, 36 from 
Hagaru, and seven from Koto-ri, a3 

Altogether, 220 evacuation flights and 11 rescue missions were com- 
pleted during the entire Reservoir campaign by a squadron which on 
1 November included 25 officers, 95 enlisted men, eight OY-2 and two 
L5G observation planes and nine H03S-1 Sikorsky helicopters. First 
Lieutenant Robert A. Longstaff was killed by enemy small-arms fire 
near Toktong Pass while on an evacuation flight, and both Captain 
Farish and Lieutenant Englehardt had their helicopters so badly riddled 
by CCF bullets that the machines were laid up for repairs. 84 

Two surgical teams from Hungnam had been flown to Hagaru by 
helicopter, but the evacuation problem remained so urgent on 1 Decem- 
ber that the command of the 1st Marine Division authorized a trial 
landing on the new airstrip. Only 40 per cent completed at this time, 
the runway was 2900 feet long and 50 feet wide, with a 2 per cent grade 
to the north. 

It was a tense moment, at 1430 that afternoon, when the knots of 
parka-clad Marine spectators watched the wheels of the first feaf C-47 
hit the frozen, snow-covered strip. The big two-motored aircraft 
bounced and lurched its way over the rough surface, but the landing 
was a success. An even more nerve-racking test ensued half an hour 
later when the pilot took off with 24 casualties. It seemed for a breath- 
snatching instant that the run wouldn't be long enough for the machine 
to become airborne, but at last the tail lifted and the wings got enough 
"bite" to clear the hills to the south. 

Three more planes landed that afternoon, taking off with about 60 
more casualties. The last arrival, heavily loaded with ammunition, col- 
lapsed its landing gear on the bumpy strip and had to be destroyed and 
abandoned. 30 

At the other end of the evacuation chain, clearing stations had been 
established by X Corps at Yonpo Airfield to receive and distribute casu- 
alties. A 30-day evacuation policy was maintained, and the casualties 
to remain in the area went to the 1st Marine Division Hospital in Hung- 
nam, the Army 121st Evacuation Hospital in Hamhung, and the USS 
Consolation in Hungnam harbor. Casualties requiring more than 30 

"VMO-6 SAR, 14-13; Smith, Notes, 844. 

"Ibid. See also Lynn Montross, Cavalry of the Sky (New York, 1954), 134-136. 
"DivSurgeon SAR, n. p.; Smith, Notes, 990-991, and Chfonhle, 98-99. 

Task Force Drysdale 


days of hospitalization were flown from Yonpo to Japan, though a few 
critical cases were evacuated directly from Hagaru to Japan. 30 

It was planned for incoming transports at Hagaru to fly both supplies 
arid troop replacements. Meanwhile, on 1 December, the 1st Marine 
Division had its first C-119 air drop from Japan. Known as "Bald- 
wins," these drops consisted of a prearranged quantity of small arms 
ammunition, weapons, water, rations, and medical supplies, though the 
amounts could be modified as desired. 37 

Air drops, however, did not have the capability of supplying an RCT 
in combat, let alone a division. At this time the Combat Cargo Com- 
mand, feaf, estimated its delivery capabilities at only 70 tons per day; 
and even though in practice this total was stepped up to 100, it fell 
five short of the requirements of an RCT, Fortunately, the foresight of 
the Division commander and staff had enabled the Supply Regulating 
Detachment to build up a level of six days' rations and two units of 
fire at Hagaru. 88 This backlog, plus such quantities as could be de- 
livered by Baldwin drops, promised to see the Division through the 

Infantrymen are seldom given to self-effacement, but at nightfall on 
1 December only an ungrateful gravel-cruncher could have failed to 
fay a silent tribute to the other services as well as to the supporting 
arms of the Marine Corps. Navy medics, FEAF airmen, Army service 
units — they had all helped to make it possible for the Marines to plan 
* breakout. Yet it is likely that the 1st Engineer Battalion came first 
in the affections of wounded men being loaded in the C-47s for evacua- 

In just twelve days and nights the engineers of Company D had 
hacked this airstrip out of the frozen earth. Marine infantrymen could 
never forget the two critical nights of battle when they looked back 
over their shoulders from combat areas at the heartening spectacle of 
the dozers puffing and huffing under the floodlights. In a pinch Lieu- 
tenant Colonel Partridge's specialists had doubled as riflemen, too, and 
several platoons were riddled with casualties. Thanks in large part to 
the engineers, the Hagaru base was no longer isolated on 1 December. 
And though the enemy did not yet realize it, he had lost the initiative on 
this eventful Friday. The Marines at Yudam-ni were coming out, and 
they were coming out fighting with their casualties and equipment. 

" Ibid. 

2 Smith, Notes, 1001-1004. Col J. H. Brewer Comments, n, d, 
"Smith, Notes, 1001-1004. 


Breakout From Yudam-ni 

Joint Planning for Breakout — The Fight for Hills 1419 and 
1542 — March of i/j Over the Mountains — Attack of 3/3 on 
i~2 December — The Ridgerunners of Toktong Pass — CCF At- 
tacks on Hills 12 j 6 and 1542 — Advance of Darkhorse on 2-3 

'"Phb first steps toward regaining the initiative were taken by the 
X Marine command as early as 29 November, Upon being informed 
that the composite battalion had failed to open up the MSR south of 
Yudam-ni, General Smith concluded that it was a task for a regiment, 
At 1545 that afternoon he issued the following orders to RCTs 5 and 7: 
RCT-5 assume responsibility protection Yudam-ni area adjusting present 
dispositions accordingly. RCT-7 conduct operations clear MSR to Hagaru 
without delay employing entire regiment. 1 

That same evening the Division CP received X Corps OI 19, provid- 
ing that an RCT be redeployed from the Yudam-ni area to Hagaru. 2 
No further directives from Division were necessary to implement this 
instruction, since it had been anticipated in General Smith's orders. 

Upon receipt, the two Yudam-ni regimental commanders began joint 
planning for measures to be taken. The unusual command situation at 
Yudam-ni, in the absence of the assistant division commander, was 
e xplained by Colonel Litzenberg: 

The 5th and 7th Marines were each acting under separate orders from the 
Division. The Division would issue orders to one regiment with information 
to the other, so that Division retained the control; and, of course, the 4th 

'CG IstMarDiv rosg to COs 5th and 7thMars, 1750 29 Nov 50. 
1 XCorps Ol 19, 29 Nov 50. 


250 The Chosin Reservoir Campaign 

Battalion, 11th Marines, in general support of both regiments, was not actu- 
ally under the control of either of us. Lieutenant Colonel Murray , , . oper- 
ated in very close coordination with me, sometimes at his own command 
post and sometimes at mine. We called in [Major] McReynolds, the com- 
mander of 4/1 1 , discussed the situation with him, and thereafter Lieutenant 
Colonel Murray and I issued orders jointly as necessary. . . . This command 
arrangement functioned very well. There was never any particular disagree- 
ment. 3 

For purposes of planning the supporting fires for the breakout, an 
artiilery groupment was formed and Lieutenant Colonel Feehan given 
the responsibility of coordination. It was further agreed that no air 
drops of 155mm ammunition would be requested because of the greater 
number of 105mm rounds which could be received with fewer diffi- 

The problems of the two RCTs, commented General Smith, could not 
be separated. "The only feasible thing for them to do was pool their 
resources. . . . The assignment of command to the senior regimental 
commander was considered but rejected in favor of cooperation." 6 

At 0600 on the 30th, the two RCTs issued their Joint OpnO 1-50, 
which called for the regroupment of the Yudam-ni forces in a new posi- 
tion south of the village and astride the MSR as a first step toward a 
breakout. Thus in effect the two RCTs and supporting troops would 
be exchanging an east-and-west perimeter for one pointing from north 
to south along the road to Hagaru. Not only was the terrain south of 
the village more defensible, but a smaller perimeter would serve the 

Lieutenant Colonel Winecoff, Assistant G-3 of the Division, flew to 
Yudam-ni on the 30th to observe and report on the ; ' 
given a copy of Joint OpnO 1-50 for delivery to I 
return to Hagaru. 7 

That same afternoon, during a conference with General Almond at 

"Litzcnberg interv, 27-30 Apr and 10 Jul 51, 57. Maj McReynolds had already placed 
his battalion under Col Litzcnberg as senior officer present. LtCol W. McReynolds 
Comments, 15 Aug 56. 

1 LtCol H. A. Feehan Comments, 1 Aug 56. McReynolds Comments, 15 Aug 56. 

5 Smith, Notes, 918-919- 

'The remainder of this section, unless otherwise noted, is derived from: RCT 5 and 
RCT 7 Joint OpnO 1-30, 30 Nov 50; X Corps OpnO 8, 30 Nov 50; 7thMar SAR, 22-23 ; 
3/7 SAR, n. p.; 2/5 SAR, 20-21; Litzenberg interv, 27-30 Apr and 10 Jul 51, 55; Gen 
O. P. Smith Comments, 13 Nov 56"; Col J. L, Winecoff Comments, n. d. ; LtCol R. D. 
T.iplett Comments, 9 Aug 56. 

A copy had been sent out earlier with the pilot of an evacuation helicopter but it did 
not reach the Division CP until 1 December. Winecoff Comments. 

Hagaru, the Marine commander received X Corps OpnO 8, directing 
him to operate against the enemy in zone, withdrawing elements north 
and northwest of Hagaru to that area while securing the Sudong-Hagaru 
MSR. And at 1920 that evening, Division issued the following dispatch 
orders to RCTs 5 and 7 : 

Expedite execution of Joint OpnO 1-50 and combined movement RCT-5 
and RCT-7 to Hagaru prepared for further withdrawal south. Destroy any 
supplies and equipment which must be abandoned during this withdrawal.* 

As a prerequisite, a good deal of reorganization had to be effected at 
l-ni. In order to provide a force to hold the shoulders of the 
ground through which RCT-7 would advance, it was decided to 
put together another composite battalion. 

The new unir consisted of George Company, 3/7, Able Company, 
1/5, and the remnants of Dog and Easy Companies, 2/7, combined into 
a provisional company under Captain Robert J. Poison; a section of 81s 
each from 2/7 and 3/7's Weapons Companies; and a communications 
detachment from 3/7. Major Maurice E. Roach, regimental S-4 placed 
in command, realized that such a jury- rigged outfit might be subject to 
Morale problems. Noting that one of the men had made a neckerchief 
out of a torn green parachute, he seized upon the idea as a means of 
appealing to unit pride. Soon all the men were sporting green necker- 
chiefs, and Roach gave the new unit added distinction by christening 
it the Damnation Battalion after adopting "Damnation" as the code 
word. 9 

Beginning in the early morning hours of the 30th, regroupment was 
the chief activity at Yudam-ni. Enemy opposition during the night took 
the form of scattered small-arms fire varied with minor probing attacks. 
This comparative lull lasted until 0710, when Item Company of 3/5 
beat off an enemy assault on Hill 1282 (North Ridge) with the support 
of Marine air strikes and 81mm mortar fire. In the same area George 
Company had a brisk fire fight from 1315 to dusk. 

The plan of the regroupment envisioned a gradual withdrawal from 
the north and west of Yudam-ni by RCT-5 for the purpose of relieving 
units of RCT-7 and enabling them to extend the perimeter southward 
from the village (see Map 23). It fell to 2/5 to execute the most diffi- 

1 CG IstMarDiv msg to COs ?th and 7thMars, 1920 30 Nov 50. See also Smith, Notes, 

This account of the organization of the "Damnation" Battalion is based upon: Narra- 
tive of Maj W. R. Earney, n. d„ 9-10; MajGcn H. L. Litfcenberg !tr, 7 Aug 56; LtCol 
M. E. Roach Comments, 27 Nov 56. "I trust," commented Gen Litzenberg dryly, "that 
the green neckerchiefs were all made of torn parachutes!" 

Breakout From Yudam-ni 253 

cult maneuver of the day. Roise's battalion held a line stretching from 
Hill 1426 on Southwest Ridge along the high ground to 3/5's positions 
on Hill 1282. After disengaging widi the help of Marine air and artil- 
lery, 2/5 gave up Hill 1426 and pulled back nearly a mile, relieving 
elements of 3/7 on the left. Roise's new line included Hill 1294 on 
Southwest Ridge, overlooking the MSR, and extended northeast to Hill 
1282 as before. Meanwhile 1/5 continued ro hold a defensive line from 
Hill 1240 eastward to Hill 1167. 

These movements freed 3/7 to re-deploy to new positions astride 
the MSR about 4000 yards south of Yudam-ni. In this same general 
area, 1/7 continued to block the valley to the southwest while holding 
Hill 1276, of South Ridge, about 2500 yards south of the village. 

"The question of whether we should make these movements during 
daylight or at night was a difficult one," said Colonel Litzenberg. "We 
finally decided to make the movements in daylight when we could 
have advantage of observation for air cover and artillery. The move- 
ment, piecemeal by battalion, was successfully executed." 10 

The enemy took surprisingly little advantage of the readjustment. 
Movements were completed in an orderly and methodical manner as 
the units drew rations and ammunition for the breakout. Preparations 
^ere made for the destruction of all equipment which could not be 
carded out, and air drops of ammunition and other supplies were 

As a solution for the problem of casualty evacuation, General Smith 
had suggested the construction of an OY strip. A start was made at 0900 
on the 30th by the TD-18 dozers of Major McReynolds' artillery bat- 
talion, but the area came under enemy fire the next day and the nearly 
completed strip could be used only twice. 11 

Joint Planning for Breakout 

The plan, as finally agreed upon, called for a combination of the two 
solutions. Since it was essential to relieve hard-pressed Fox Company 
and secure vital Toktong Pass prior to the arrival of the main column, 
one force would advance across country. And since it would have 

* Litzenberg interv. 27-30 Apr and 10 Jul 51, 55. 
" Ibid., McReynolds Comments, 15 Aug 56. 


been physically impossible to carry the wounded over the mountains, 
the main body would fight its way along the road to Toktong Pass. 12 

The over-all plan for the Yudam-ni breakout, after being flown to 
Hagaru by helicopter for General Smith's approval, was incorporated 
into Joint OpnO 2-50. This directive, later modified by fragmentary 
orders, was issued in the morning of 1 December 1950. 

It meant dispensing with the vehicles and heavy equipment of the 
cross-country force. Only the barest military necessities could be taken 
by men loaded down with ammunition while struggling through snow- 

The unit selected for the attempt was the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, 
commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Davis. The plan of maneuver called 
for him to strike off across the mountain tops under cover of darkness 
on the night of 1 December. As the other units moved out astride the 
MSR from Yudam-ni to Hagaru, 3/5 was to be the advance guard. 

Lieutenant Colonel Taplett's battalion had the mission of passing 
through 3/7 to seize the commanding ground on both sides of the road 
and tead the way for the rest of the Yudam-ni troops. Thus the attacks 
of 1/7 and 3/5 would converge in the general area of Fox Hill and 
Toktong Pass. 

The point of the advance was to be the only Marine tank to reach 
Yudam-ni while the MSR was still open. It was left stranded after the 
recall of the crew to Hagaru; but Staff Sergeant Russell A. Munsell 
and another crewman were flown up from Hagaru by helicopter at 
Colonel Litzenberg's request. They were to man Tank D-23 when it 
moved out with the point. Plans also called for a battery of 3/11 to 
advance near the head of the column, so that it could go into position 
near Sinhung-ni and provide covering fires for the rearguard while 
other artillery units displaced. 

The 4th Battalion of the 11th Marines had orders to fire most of 
its 155mm ammunition before departure. All the men who could be 
spared from this unit were formed into nine provisional infantry pla- 
toons. Two were assigned to reinforce the 7th Marines and three to 
the 5th Marines; four were retained under Major McReynold's com- 

" This section is derived from: RCT-5 and RCT-7 Joint OpnO 2-5Q, I Dec 50; 5thMar 
SAR, 26-27; 3/5 SAR, 15; 7thMar SAR, 23; Smith, Nolei, 923-927; LiLzenberg ioterv, 
27-30 Apr and 10 Jul 51, 58-59; Col J. L. Stewart Comments, n. d.; LtCol R. V. Fridrich 
interv, 21 Apr 56; Narrative of LtCo] R. G. Davis, 11 Jan 53 ; Taplett Comments, 9 Aug 56; 
Roach Comments, 27 Nov 56; McReynolds Comments, 15 Aug 56. 


Breakout From Yudam-ni 

mand to protect the flanks of the vehicle train. It was further prescribed 
that the guns of 4/11 were to bring up the rear of the convoy, so that 
the road would not be blocked in the event of any of its vehicles becom- 
ing immobilized. 

Only drivers and seriously wounded men were permitted to ride the 
trucks in the middle of the column along with critical equipment and 
supplies. Since all additional space in the vehicles would doubtless be 
needed for casualties incurred in the breakout as well as Fox Company 
casualties, it was decided not to bring out the dead from Yudam-ni. A 
field burial was conducted by chaplains for 85 officers and men. 13 

All available Marine aircraft were to be on station. Moreover, car- 
rier planes of TF 77 had been released from other missions by the 
Fifth AF to reinforce the aircraft of die 1st MAW in direct support of 

The Fight for Hills 1419 and 1542 

The transition from planning to execution began on the morning of 
1 December. Only the 1st and 3d Battalions of RCT-5 were left to 
the north of Yudam-ni, and pulling them out was to prove equivalent 
ro letting loose of the tiger's tail. 

The 3d Battalion began its withdrawal at 0800, followed 90 minutes 
later by the 1st. The initial phases of the maneuver were carried out 
without great difficulty. The first major problem came when 3/5's last 
unit, George Company, pulled down from Hill 1282 (see Map 24) , 
There the Marines had been in such close contact with the enemy that 
grenades were the main weapon of both sides. The problem of pre- 
venting the Chinese from swarming over the top of the ridge at the 
critical moment and pursuing the Marines down the slope was solved 
by First Lieutenant Daniel Greene, the FAC, with a dummy run by close 
supporting aircraft. While the first pass of the Corsairs kept the Com- 
munists down, Captain Chester R. Hermanson commenced his with- 
drawal. As soon as his men moved out at a safe distance he signalled 
to the FAC, who called for live runs of Marine air in coordination with 
the fires directed by the artillery liaison officer, First Lieutenant Henry 

"After the cease-fire of July 1935, the remains were returned to the United States, in 
accordance with the terras of the Korean Armistice, 

Breakout From Yudam-ni 


G. Ammer. First Lieutenant Arthur E. House's 81mm mortar platoon 
also rendered skillful support during the withdrawal." 

The ancient ruse was so successful that George Company disengaged 
without a single casualty. Ammunition left behind by the rifle platoons 
Was detonated just as the rockets, bombs, and napalm of the Corsairs 
hit the Chinese, followed by artillery and mortar shells. Hill 1282 
seemed to erupt in one tremendous explosion. White Captain Herman- 
son's men crossed the bridge south of the burning town, an engineer 
demolitions crew waited to destroy the span. 

The rear guard unit for the withdrawal of the two battalions was 
First Lieutenant John R. Hancock's Baker Company of 1/5. He felt 
that his best chance would be to "sneak off" Hill 1240. Accordingly 
he requested that no supporting fires be furnished Baker Company, 
except at his request. Making very effective use of his light machine guns 
to cover his withdrawal with a spray of fire, Hancock disengaged with- 
out a casualty. 

The next stage of the regroupment was carried out in preparation for 
the attacks of 3/5 and 1/7. In order to clear the way on both sides 
of the MSR, 3/7 (minus How Company) moved out at 0900 on 1 De- 
cember to attack Hill 1542 while How Company went up against Hill 

Joint OpnO 1-50 was modified meanwhile by verbal instructions 
directing 2/5, instead of 3/5, to relieve 1/7 on Hill 1276, thus freeing 
Colonel Davis' battalion for its assigned mission. The 1st Battalion of 
RCT-5 took positions stretching from Hill 1100 on the west side of 
the MSR to the low ground southeast of the arm of the Reservoir. This 
meant that after 3/7 (-) seized Hill 1542, three Marine infantry bat- 
talions would occupy a defensive line about three and a half miles in 
length, stretching diagonally northeast from that position to the arm of 
the Reservoir, with Hill 1276 as its central bastion. 15 

Shortly before dusk Lieutenant Colonel Taplett's 3/5 arrived in posi- 
tion to pass through Lieutenant Colonel Harris' 3/7. The two battalion 
commanders agreed that 3/5 would execute the movement even though 

"The description of the withdrawal of 1/5 and 3/5 is based on: 5thMar SAR, 26; 1/5 
SAR, 15-36; 3/5 SAR, 15; LtCol R. D. Taplett and Maj R. E. Whipple, "Darkhorse Sets 
the Pace," Marine Corps Gazette, xxxvii, no. 6 {Jun 53), 22-23; Alvarez Itr, 18 Oct 35; 
Taplett Comments, 9 Aug 56; LtCol J. W. Stevens, II, Comments, 25 Jul 56. 

* SthMar SAR, 26-27; 7thMar SAR, 23; 3/7 SAR, n. p.; 1/5 SAR, 15-16; 2/5 SAR, 
21-22; 3/5 SAR, 15. CO 7thMar msg to CG IstMarDiv, 1935 1 Dec 50. 


The Chasm Reservoir Campaign 

3/7 had not yet secured its objectives, and 3/5 attacked astride the 
MSRat 1500. 1B 

Harris' battalion had been having it hot and heavy all day on Hills 
14 19 and 1542 after jumping off at 0900. These objectives were too far 
apart for a mutually supported attack and the Chinese defended the 
difficult terrain with tenacity. 

Item Company, reinforced by artillerymen and headquarters troops, 
made slow progress west of the road against the Chinese dug in on 
Hill 1542. At 1700 George Company moved into position on the left. 
Both companies attempted an assault but the 3/7 report states, "Each 
attack by T Co and *G' Co never reached full momentum before it was 
broken up." One platoon of Item Company reached the military crest 
before being repulsed. When night fell, the Marines were still on the 
eastern slopes of 1542. 17 

On Hill 1419, about 1000 yards east of the road, How Company of 
3/7 met stiff opposition from Chinese dug in along four finger ridges 
as well as the main spur leading to the topographical crest. It became 
evident that How Company alone could not seize the hill and about 
noon Able Company of Davis' battalion joined the attack, on How's 

The heavy undergrowth gave concealment to the enemy, though it 
also offered footholds to the Marines scrambling up the steep and icy 
slopes. Air strikes were laid down just ahead of them, blasting the 
Chinese with bombs, rockets, and 20mm fire. Artillery support, how- 
ever, was limited by the relative blindness of the forward observer in 
the brush, but mortars succeeded in knocking out several enemy posi- 
tions. How Company's attack had come to a standstill because of 
casualties which included Lieutenant Harris. First Lieutenant Eugenous 
M. Hovatter's Able Company regained the momentum, thanks to the 
efforts of First Lieutenant Leslie C. Williams' 1st Platoon. Aided by 
How and by Baker, which was committed late in the afternoon, Able 
Company secured Hill 14 19 about 1930. Thus the jump-off point for 
the 1/7 advance across the mountain tops had been seized. 

After setting up hasty defenses, Davis directed that all dead and 
wounded be evacuated to 3/5's aid station on the road. How Company 
was attached to his battalion by order of Colonel Litzenberg, since all 
units had been thinned by casualties. Then the battalion tail was pulled 

11 Taplett Commcn 
" 3/7 SARj n. p. 

Breakout From Yudam-ni 259 

up the mountain and the last physical tie broken with other Marine units 
in the Yudam-ni area.* 8 

The Marines had seized the initiative, never again to relinquish it 
during the Chosin Reservoir campaign. 

March of 1/7 Over the Mountains 

Planning at die battalion level was done by Davis, his executive officer, 
Major Raymond V. Fridrich, and his S-3, Major Thomas E. Tighe. It 
was decided to take only two of the 81mm mortars and six heavy ma- 
chine guns. They were to be manned with double crews, so that enough 
ammunition could be carried to keep them in action. 

Pack-set radios (AN/GRC-9) were to provide positive communi- 
cations in case the portable sets (SCR-300) would not reach to the 
Yudam-ni perimeter. The artillery liaison officer was to carry a pack 
set (SCR-610) to insure artillery communication. 10 

All personnel not sick or wounded were to participate, leaving be- 
hind enough walking wounded or frostbite cases to drive the vehicles 
and move the gear left behind with the regimental train. Extra litters 
Were to be taken, each serving initially to carry additional mortar and 
machine gun ammunition; and all men were to carry sleeping bags not 
only for the protection of the wounded but also to save their own lives 
if the column should be cut off in the mountains for several days. Every 
man was to start the march with an extra bandolier of small arms am- 
munition, and personnel of the reserve company and headquarters 
group were to carry an extra round of 81mm mortar ammunition up 
the first mountain for replenishment of supplies depleted at that point. 

After driving the enemy from the topographical crest of Hill 1419, 
the four companies were not permitted a breathing spell. Davis feared 
the effects of the extreme (16 degrees below zero) cold on troops 
drenched with sweat from clawing their way up the mountain. He 
pressed the reorganization with all possible speed, therefore, after no 

• 3/7 SAR, n. p.; R, G. Davis narrative, II Jan 53; Fridrich interv, 21 Apr 56; CO 
7tbMar msg to CG IstMarDiv, 1935 1 Dec 50 ; LtCol R. G. Davis interv by Capts K. W. 
Shutts and A. Z. Freeman, 6 Apr 51; Maj E. M. Hovatter Comments, 19 Jul '56. 

This section, except when otherwise noted, is based on Davis narrative; Litzenberg 
'nterv, 27-30 Apr and 10 Jul 51 ; Fridrich interv, 21 Apr 56; R. G. Davis interv, 6 Apr 51 ; 
and Capt W. J. Davis int erv, 4 Jun 56. 

The Choun Reservoir Campaign 

enemy contacts were reported by patrols ranging to the southeast. And 
at 2100 on the night of 1 December the column set out in this order: 
Baker Company First Lieutenant Kurcaba 

1/7 Command Group Lieutenant Colonel Davis 

Able Company First Lieutenant Hovatter 

ChacliG Company Captain Morris 

Headquarters Group Major Fridrkh 

How Company Second Lieutenant Newton 

The night was dark but a few stars showed over the horizon in the 
general direction to be taken. They served as a guide, with a prominent 
rock mass being designated the first objective. 

The snow-covered peaks all looked alike in the darkness, and the 
guide stars were lost to sight when the column descended into valleys. 
Repeated compass orientations of the map examined by flashlight 
under a poncho never checked out. The artillery was called upon to 
place white phosphorus on designated hills, but the splash of these 
rounds could seldom be located. 

The point was slowed by the necessity of breaking trail in snow that 
had drifted knee-deep in places. After a path had been beaten, the 
icy footing became treacherous for the heavily burdened Marines. Some 
painful falls were taken on the downhill slopes by men who had to 
climb the finger ridges on bands and knees. 

Apparently the enemy had been caught by complete surprise, for the 
Marines had the desolate area to themselves. A more immediate danger 
was loss of direction, and the head of the column veered off to the 
southwest while crossing the second valley. A drift in this direction 
would eventually take the battalion toward the enemy-held road to 
Hagaru (see Map 25), which had been scheduled by the Marine ar- 
tillery for harassing and interdiction fires. 

Radio failures kept Kurcaba, at the point, from receiving messages 
sent in warning. An attempt was made to communicate by word of 
mouth, but the shouts from behind often did not penetrate to ears pro- 
tected from the cold by parka hoods. At last the loss of direction be- 
came so alarming that Davis himself hurried forward with his radio 
operator and runner. In the darkness he lost touch with them and 
floundered on alone, panting and stumbling. 

It took such effort to overtake the point that he did not make it until 
the men were scrambling up the next steep ridge. There the westward 
drift was corrected just in time, for the battalion was running into its 

Breakout From Yudam-ni 

The column had been heading up Hill 1520, the eastern and western 
slopes of which were held by the enemy. An increasing volume of 
small-arms fire was received as Davis gave his company commanders 
orders to reorganize units in preparation for attack. Exhausted though 
the men were, they summoned a burst of energy and advanced in two 
assault columns supported by 81mm mortars and heavy machine guns. 
Now the exertion of carrying extra ammunition paid dividends as 
Baker and Charlie Companies closed in on a CCF position held in esti- 
mated platoon strength. Some of the Chinese were surprised while 
asleep or numbed with the cold, and the Marines destroyed the enemy 
force at a cost of only a few men wounded. 

The attack cleared the enemy from the eastern slope of Hill 1520, 
but distant small-arms fire was received from ridges across the valley 
to the east. Davis called a halt for reorganization, since the troops had 
obviously reached the limit of their endurance. Suddenly they began 
collapsing in the snow — "like dominoes," as the commanding officer 
later described the alarming spectacle. And there the men lay, oblivious 
to the cold, heedless of the Chinese bullets ricocheting off the rocks. 

A strange scene ensued in the dim starlight as company officers and 
NCOs shook and cuffed the prostrate Marines into wakefulness. The 
officers could sympathize even while demanding renewed efforts, for 
the sub-zero cold seemed to numb the mind as well as body. 

Davis had even requested his company commanders to check every 
order he gave, just to make sure his own weary brain was functioning 
accurately. At 0300 he decided to allow the men a rest — the first in 
20 hours of continuous fighting or marching under a double burden. 
As a preliminary, the battalion commander insisted that the perimeter 
be buttoned up and small patrols organized within companies to insure 
a 25 per cent alert. Then the pack radio was set up to establish the 
night's first contact with the regimental CP, and the men took turns at 
sleeping as an eerie silence fell over the wasteland of ice and stone. 

Attack of 3/5 on 1-2 December 

Returning to the Yudam-ni area, it may be recalled that Lieutenant 
Colonel Taplett's 3/5 had passed through 3/7 at 1500 on 1 December 
with a mission of attacking astride the MSR to lead the way for the 
main column. Tank D-23, a How Company platoon and a platoon of 

The Cbosin Reservoir Campaign 

Able Company engineers set the pace, followed by the rest of How 
Company and the other two rifle companies. After an advance of 1400 
yards the battalion column was stopped by heavy CCF fire from both 
sides. How and Item Companies fanned out west and east of the road 
and a longdrawn firefight ensued before the Marines cleared the enemy 
from their flanks at 1930. 20 

Artillery support for die breakout was provided by 1/11 and 3/11 
(minus Batrery H) . The plan called for 1/11 to take the main respon- 
sibility for furnishing supporting fires at the outset while 3/11 dis- 
placed as soon as possible to the vicinity of Sinhung-ni, whence the last 
lap of the march to Hagaru could be effectively covered. The 1st Bat- 
talion would then join the vehicle column and move with it to Hagaru. 31 

Taplett gave 3/5 a brief rest after securing his first objectives — the 
high ground on both sides of the road just opposite the northern spurs 
of Hill 1520. Then he ordered a renewal of the attack shortly before 
midnight. How Company on the right met only moderate opposition, 
but was held up by the inability of Item Company to make headway 
against Chinese dug in along the western slope of Hill 1520. Neither 
1/7 nor 3/5 had any idea at the moment that they were simultaneously 
engaged on opposite sides of the same great land mass, though sep- 
arated by enemy groups as well as terrain of fantastic difficulties. So 
rugged was this mile-high mountain that the two Marine outfits might 
as well have been in different worlds as far as mutual support was con- 

Item Company stirred up such a hornet's nest on the western slope 
that Captain Harold O. Schrier was granted permission by the battalion 
commander to return to his jump-off position, so that he could better 
defend the MSR. There he was attacked by Chinese who alternated 
infantry attacks with mortar bombardments. Radio communication 
failed and runners sent from the battalion CP to Item Company lost 
their way. Thus the company was isolated during an all-night defensive 
fight. Second Lieutenant Willard S. Peterson took over the command 
after Schrier received a second wound, 

Taplett had ordered his reserve company, George, and his attached 
engineers into defensive positions to the rear of Item Company. The 
engineers on the right flank were also hit by the Chinese and had sev- 

"Descriptions of 3/5 operations in this section are based on the 3/5 SAR, 15; Taplett 
and Whipple, "Durkhorse Sets the Pace," II, 46-50; Taplett Comments, 9 Aug 5(5. 
* llthMu SAR, 7; MCB Study, ll-C-1% 


Breakout From Yudam-ni 

eral wounded, including the platoon comandcr, First Lieutenant 
Wayne E. Richards, before repulsing the attack. 

Counted CCF dead in the Item Company area totaled 342 at day- 
break on the 2d, but the Marines had paid a heavy price in casualties. 
Less than 20 able-bodied men were left when George Company passed 
through to renew the attack on Hill 1520. For that matter, both George 
and How Companies were reduced to two-platoon strength. Taplett 
requested reinforcement by an additional company, and was assigned 
the so-called Dog-Easy composite company made up of the remnants of 
2/7- This outfit moved directly down the road between George and 
How Companies, 22 

It took George Company until 1200 to secure the western slope of 
Hill 1520. The composite company ran into difficulties meanwhile at a 
point on the MSR where the Chinese had Mown a bridge over a deep 
stream bed and set up a roadblock defended by machine guns. While 
George Company attacked down a long spur above the enemy, Dog- 
Easy Company maneuvered in defilade to outflank him. Lieutenant 
Greene, the FAC, directed the F4Us on target and the ground forces 
were treated to a daring exhibition of close support by Corsairs which 
barely cleared the ridge after pulling out of their runs. The roadblock 
was speedily wiped out, but the vehicle column had to wait until the 
engineers could construct a bypass. Then the advance of 3/5 was re- 
sumed, with George and How Companies attacking on opposite sides 
of the MSR, and the composite company astride the road, following 
the tank and engineer platoons. 

The Ridgerunners of Toktong Pass 

All the rest of their lives the survivors of the two spearhead Marine bat- 
talions would take pride in nicknames earned during the breakout from 
Yudam-nt. For Taplett's outfit it was "Darkhorse," after the radio call 
sign of the battalion, while Davis' men felt that they had a right to be 
known as the "Ridgerunners of Toktong Pass." 

At daybreak on 2 December, 1/7 corrected its westward drift of the 
previous night and attacked toward Hill 1653, a mountain only about 

" "Item Company upon relief was temporarily non-effective. In fact it ceased to exist 
except on paper. Some of the survivors were assigned to G/5 and the wounded who 
^vere able to walk were assigned to a provisional rifle unit organized from H&S Co and 
"nder the command of Lt George Bowman:' Taplett Comments, 9 Aug $6. 

The Chosin Reservoir Campaign 

a mile and a half north of Fox Hill Davis' men got the better of several 
firelights at long range with CF groups on ridges to the east, but the 
terrain gave them more effective opposition than the enemy. 23 

The radios of 1/7 could not contact Marine planes when rhey came 
on station, and relays through tactical channels proved ineffective. 
Moreover, all efforts to reach Fox Company by radio had failed. This 
situation worried the battalion commander, who realized that he was 
approaching within range of friendly 81mm mortar fire from Fox Hill. 

The ancient moral weapon of surprise stood Davis and his men in 
good stead, however, as the column encountered little opposition on 
the western slope of Hilt 1653- How Company, bringing up the rear 
with the wounded men, came under an attack which threatened for a 
moment to endanger the casualties. But after the litters were carried for- 
ward, Newton managed to keep the Chinese at a respectful distance 
without aid from the other companies. 

Charlie Company was given the mission of seizing a spur covering 
the advance of Able and Baker companies east from Hill 1520 to Hill 
1653. The command group had just passed Morris on this position 
when the radio operator shouted to Davis: 

"Fox Six on the radio, sir." 

Captain Barber's offer to send out a patrol to guide 1 /7 to his posi- 
tion was declined, but Fox Company did control the strike by planes 
of VMF-312 which covered the attack of Kurcaba's company on the 
final objective— a ridge about 400 yards north of Fox Hill. Aided 
by the air attack and supporting 81rnm mortar fires, Baker Company 
seized the position and Able Company the northern portion of Hill 
1653. It was 1125 on the morning of 2 December 1950 when the first 
men of Baker Company reached Fox Company's lines. 

Able Company held its position on Hill 1653 until the rest of the 
battalion was on Fox Hill. After grounding their packs, men from the 
forward companies went back to help carry the 22 wounded men into 
the perimeter. While supervising this task, the regimental surgeon, 
Lieutenant Peter A. Arioli, (MC) USN, was instantly killed by a Chi- 
nese sniper's bullet. There were no other death casualties, though two 
men had to be placed in improvised strait jackets after cracking mentally 

"This section is based on R. G. Davis narrative, 11 Jan 53; Litzenbcrg interv, 27— 30 
Apr and 10 Jul 51 ; Fridrkh interv, 21 Apr 56; R. G. Davis interv, 6 Apr 51 ; and W. G. 
Davis interv, 4 June 5(5; Col R. G, Davis Comments, 20 Aug 56; Hovatter Comments, 
19 Jul 5. 

Breakout From Yudam-ni 

and physically under the strain. Both died before evacuation was pos- 

The first objective had been reached, but there was to be no rest 
until Toktong Pass was secured. Baker Company paused on Fox Hill 
only long enough for Kurcaba's men to eat a hasty meal of air-dropped 
rations. Then they moved out to seize the high ground commanding 
the vital terrain feature at a point where the road describes a loop from 
north to south. Able Company followed shortly afterwards and the 
two outfits set up a single perimeter for the night while the rest of the 
battalion manned perimeters on the high ground east of Fox Hill. 
Barber's men remained in their positions. 

Five days and nights of battle had left Fox Company with 118 
casualties— 26 KIA, 3 MIA, and 89 WIA. Six of the seven officers were 
wounded, and practically all the unwounded men suffered from frost- 
bite and digestive ills. 

CCF Attacks on Hills 1276 and 1542 

While the two spearhead battalions advanced, the Marine elements in 
the rear could not complain of being neglected by the enemy. All three 
infantry battalions were kept busy with CCF attacks which persisted 
from midnight until long after daybreak (see Map 24). 

Lieutenant Colonel Roise's 2 /5, which had been designated as rear- 
guard, was hit on Hill 1276 in the early morning hours of 2 December. 
Under cover of rifle and machine-gun fire, the Chinese advanced on the 
Fox Company positions with their "inverted wedge" assault forma- 
tion. Testimony as to its effectiveness is found in the 2/5 report: 

The [Chinese] . . . used fire and movement to excellent advantage. They 
would direct a. frontal attack against our positions while other elements of 
their attacking force moved in closer to "F" Company flanks in an attempt 
at a double envelopment. Then in turn the forces on both flanks would 
attack while the forces directly to our front would move closer to our position. 
In this, the enemy, by diverting our attention in the above manner, were able 
to maneuver their forces to within hand grenade range of our positions. 

One Fox platoon, assailed from three sides, was forced to withdraw 
at 0110 and consolidate with the rest of the company. At 0200 the 
PAC requested an air strike from two night fighters on station. The 
aircraft were directed on the target by 60mm mortar white phosphorus 

; and rocket runs within ; 

266 The Chosin Reservoir Campaign 

of the Marine front line. In all, five aircraft of VMF(N)-542 were 
employed with excellent results during the night. 

At 0230 Roise directed Fox Company to retake the left- flank hill 
from which the platoon had been driven. Two attempts were made 
before daybreak with the support of 4.2-inch mortar fire, but enemy 
machine guns stopped the assault. At 0730 an air strike was requested. 
After strafing and rocket runs, Fox Company fought its way to the 
crest, only to find the position untenable because of machine-gun fire 
from the reverse slope. At 1000 the Corsairs blasted the enemy for 
25 minutes with napalm and 500-pound bombs, and CCF troops were 
observed vacating the objective area. It was nearly time for the battalion 
to displace as the rearguard, however, and the enemy was left in pos- 
session of a scarred and scorched piece of real estate. 

Both Dog and Easy Companies received probing attacks which the 
Chinese did not attempt to push home. At daybreak some of them 
broke and ran along the Dog Company front, throwing away their 
weapons as they scattered in disorder. Marine fire pursued the retreat- 
ing Communists and cut down many of them. Captain Arthur D. Chal- 
lacombe's provisional company of artillerymen on Dog Company's 
right counted over 50 dead in front of its positions. 2 * 

On the eastern flank 1/5 came under attack about 2100 by 75-100 
Chinese who crossed the arm of the reservoir on ice. Mortar and artil- 
lery fire drove them back at 0100 with heavy losses, but attempts at 
infiltration continued throughout the night. In the morning 51 CCF 
dead were counted in front of one Charlie Company machine gun, and 
toral enemy KIA were estimated at 200, 2t> 

At the other end of the Marine line, a CCF attack hit 3/7 (-) on 
Hill 1542. The assault force, according to the enemy report, consisted 
of Sung-Wei-shan's 9th Company, 3d Battalion, 235th Regiment, the 
5th Company of 2 /235, and apparently two other companies of 3/235. 
All were un its of the 79th CCF Division, and their mission was "to 
annihilate the defending enemy before daylight. " SB 

George and Item Companies of 3/7, following their repulse from 
the upper reaches of Hill 1542, had formed a defensive perimeter on 
the eastern slope. As reinforcements the depleted units were assigned 
a composite outfit known as Jig Company and consisting of about 100 

: - 2/5 SAR, 22; Stewart Comments; McReynofds Comments, 15 Aug j& 
* 1/5 SAR, 16; Alvarez Itr, 18 Oct 55. 

"The description of the fight on Hill 1542 is derived from: ATIS Enemy Documents- 
Korean Campaign, Issue 66, 88-93; 3/7 SAR, n. p.; Litzenberg Itr, 7 Aug 56; Maj W.R. 
Eamey Itr to Gen Litzenberg, 16 Jul 56. 

Breakout From Yudam-ni 

cannoneers, headquarters troops, and any other elements which could 
be hastily put together. First Lieutenant Alfred t Thomas, of Item 
Company, was placed in command of men who were for the most part 
strangers to him as well as to one another. 

Sung led the 9th Company's attacking column. Although the Chi- 
nese account states that his men were advancing from the northwest 
toward the topographical crest of Hill 1542, they actually held the 
summit. Their attack was downhill, though some climbing of spurs 
and finger ridges may have been necessary. After reconnoitering to a 
point within 25 yards of the Marines, the Chinese jumped off at 0430 
with the support of fires from battalion weapons. Relying on the 
"inverted wedge," the attackers bored in alternately right and left 
while seeking an opportunity for a knockout blow. The 2d Platoon on 
the Chinese left took a severe mauling, losing its commander and 
almost half of its men. The other two platoons had heavy casualties 
but succeeded in routing the jury-rigged Jig Company. Since it was a 
composite outfit not yet 24 hours old, there is no record of either its 
operations or losses. Apparently, however, a majority of the men strag- 
gled back to their original units. Lieutenant Thomas, who had com- 
manded ably under difficult circumstances, rejoined First Lieutenant 
William E. Johnson's Item Company with such men as he had left. 
The Marines gave ground slowly under Chinese pressure until day- 
break, when they held positions abreast of George Company, which 
had not been heavily engaged. 

The two companies were reduced to a total of fewer than 200 men. 
After being reinforced by H&S Company personnel, they formed a 
defensive line in an arc stretching from the MSR about 1100 yards 
and taking in the eastern slopes of Hill 1542. 27 

Apparently the Communists, like military forces everywhere, did 
not err on the light side when estimating the casualties of opponents. 
The Marine losses for the night were listed in the CCF report as "killed, 
altogether 100 enemy troops." This figure, indicating total casualties 
of several hundred, is manifestly too high. Owing to the loss of 7th 
Marines records, the statistics for Item Company are not available, 
but it does not appear that more than 30 to 40 men were killed or 

* General LiUenberg points out that "it was necessary for 3/7 to maintain protection 
for the main column until it passed by Hill 1542. They [J/7] held high enough to 
keep Chinese small arms fire lit a sufficient distance from the Road." Litzenbcrg Com- 
ments, 7 Aug 5(5. 

Several CCF daylight attacks in platoon strength were received between 
Hills 1542 and 1276 during the morning hours of 2 December. All 
Marine units in this area were in process of disengaging, so that the 
emphasis was placed on breaking off action rather than attempting to 
defend ground soon to be evacuated. 

The vehicle train in the rear made slow progress during the after- 
noon of 2 December. Infantry strength was not sufficient to occupy 
all the commanding terrain during the passage of the motor column, 
and CCF groups infiltrated back into areas vacated by Marine riflemen. 
Effective air support reduced most of these efforts to harassing attacks, 
but Marine vehicle drivers were singled out for special attention, mak- 
ing it necessary to find replacements among near-by troops. 

To 1/5 fell the mission of furnishing close-in flank protection on 
the left. Marine air and artillery supported infantry attacks clearing 
the flanks and the column jolted on with frequent halts. The night 
passed without incident except for a CCF attack on 3/11. George Bat- 
tery gunners had to employ direct fire to repulse the Communists, and 
a 105mm howitzer was lost as well as several vehicles. 

Darkhorse, leading the way, was meanwhile fighting for nearly every 
foot of the road during the advance of 2 December. George Company 
on the left went up against Hill 1520 while Dog-Easy moved astride 
the MSR. By noon George had secured its objective. Dog-Easy ad- 
vanced against moderate resistance to a point about 300 yards beyond 
Hill 1520 where a demolished bridge bad spanned a rock ravine as 
the road turns from south to east. Here Chinese automatic weapons fire 
halted the column until a strike by 12 Corsairs cleared the enemy from 
the ravine. On the right Captain Harold B. Williamson's How Com- 
pany was to have joined in the attack, moving through the high ground 
south of the bend in the road. A Chinese strongpoint delayed its 
advance and How was pinned down by heavy enemy fire while attempt- 
ing to cross a stream bed halfway to its objective. The last air strike 
of the day freed Captain Williamson's unit, which secured its objective 
after dark. During the last minutes of daylight, the engineer platoon, 
now commanded by Technical Sergeant Edwin L. Knox, constructed a 
bypass around the blasted bridge. About 1900 the first vehicles fol- 
lowed the tank across. 

Taplett's battalion continued its slow progress with George and How 


The Chosin Reservoir Campaign 

Companies clearing the high ground on opposite sides of the road while 
Dog-Easy moved astride the MSR. At about 0200 on the 3d the 
advance came to a halt 1000 yards short of Fox Hill. Dog-Easy, which 
had suffered heavy casualties, particularly among its key NCOs, had 
reached the limit of exhaustion, and 3/5 secured for the rest of the 
night. Not until daylight did How Company discover that it had halted 
300 yards short of its final objective, the hill mass southwest of Fox Hill- 
At dawn on 3 December the ground was covered with six inches of 
new snow, hiding the scars of war and giving a deceptively peaceful 
appearance to the Korean hills as the Marine column got under way 
again with Sergeant Knox's engineers at the point, just behind Sergeant 
Munsell's lone tank. Alternately serving as engineers and riflemen, 

who started. 

Dog-Easy Company having been rendered ineffective by its casualties, 
Taplett moved George Company down from the left flank to advance 
astride the road. First Lieutenant Charles D. Mize took over the re- 
organized outfit, assisted by Second Lieutenant August L. Camaratta- 
The two riddled Dog-Easy platoons were combined with George Com- 
pany under the command of Second Lieutenant John J, Cahill and 
Technical Sergeant Don Faber. 

Cahill had the distinction of leading the platoon which fought the 
first action of Marine ground forces in the Korean conflict. But it 
hardly seemed possible on this sub-zero December morning that the 
encounter had taken place barely four months before, or that the tem- 
perature that August day had been 102° in the non-existent shade- 
Korea was a land of extremes. 

Darkhorse was not fat from a junction with the Ridgerunners. The 
night of 2-3 December bad passed quietly in Toktong Pass, where the 
five companies occupied separate perimeters. The Marines on Fox 
Hill lighted warming fires in the hope of tempting the enemy to reveal 
his positions. The Chinese obliged by firing from two near-by ridges- 
One CCF group was dug in along a southern spur of the hill held by 
Able and Baker Companies, and the other occupied a ridge extending 
eastward beyond Toktong Pass in the direction of Hagaru. 

Simultaneous attacks in opposite directions were launched by 1/7. 
Davis led Morris' and Newton's companies against the CCF force bar- 
ring the way to Hagaru. Tighe moved out with Kurcaba's and Hovat- 
ter's companies meanwhile against a larger CCF force on high ground 


south of the big bend in the road. This stroke took the Chinese by 
surprise. As they fell back in disorder, the Communists did not realize 
that they were blundering into the path of the oncoming Marines of 
Williamson's How/5, attacking south of the MSR. Colonel Litzenberg, 
who had been informed by radio, turned to Lieutenant Colonel Murray 
and said, "Ray, notify your Third Battalion commander that the Chi- 
nese are running southwest into his arms!"- 8 

Taplett was unaware that Tighe's attack was forcing about a bat- 
talion of Chinese into his lap. He had spotted the Chinese in strength 
°n the high ground south of the road when day broke. Attempts to lay 
artillery on the Chinese having failed because of the range from 
Hagaru, the 3/5 commander called for an air strike. The overcast 
lifted just as the Corsairs came on station. They hit the demoralized 
Communists with napalm and rockets while the 81mm mortars and 
heavy machine guns of the two converging Marine forces opened up 
With everything they had. Probably the greatest slaughter of the 
Yudam-ni breakout ended at 1030 with the CCF battalion "completely 
eliminated," as the 3/5 report phrased it, and How Company in pos- 
session of the CCF positions. 

. At 1300 on 3 December, after Davis had cleared the enemy from the 
ridge northeast of Toktong Pass, the basic maneuver of the breakout 
Was completed by rhe junction of 3/5 and 1/7. Several more fights 
awaited Taplett's men on the way to Hagam, but at Toktong Pass they 
had fulfilled their mission. That the victory had not been gained with- 
out paying a price in casualties is indicated by the following daily 
returns of effective strength in the three rifle companies : 


1 Dec. 

2 Dec. 

3 Dec. 

4 Dec. 

George Company. 





How Company 





hem Company 










Litzenberg interv, 27-30 Apr and 10 Jul 51, 61. Other sources For this section are 
*J follows: LtCol Taplett interv, 8 Jun 56 and Comments, 9 and 14 Aug 56; TSgt E. L. 
Knox interv, 50 May 56; MCB Study, H-C-7B-80; Taplett and Whipple, "Darkhorse 
the Way," II, 49-50; Smith, Notes, 932-946; R. G. Davis narrative, 11 Jaa 53; 
5 &Mar SAR, 29; Gecr, the New Breed, 338-341. 


The Chosin Reservoir Campaign 

This is a total of 243 battle and nonbattle casualties as compared to 
the 144 suffered by the same units during the CCF attacks of 27 to 30 

Entry into Hagaru Perimeter 

When the truck column with its wounded men reached Toktong Pass, 
it halted to receive the casualties of 1/7, 3/5, and Fox Company of 2/7. 
Lieutenant Commander John H. Craven, chaplain of the 7th Marines, 
helped to assist the litter cases into vehicles. Since there was not room 
for all, the walking wounded had to make room for helpless men. They 
complied with a courage which will never be forgotten by those who 
saw them struggling painfully toward Hagaru alongside the truck 
column. 29 

When the tank leading the 3/5 column reached Toktong Pass it 
halted only long enough for Colonels Taplett and Davis to confer. 
D-23 then moved out and the four companies of 1/7 came down from 
their hillside positions and fell in behind. 

Stevens' 1/5, having leap-frogged 3/5, followed next on the way 
to blocking positions farther east on the MSR. Taplett remained in 
Toktong Pass until after midnight, acting as radio relay between 
Colonels Litzenberg and Murray, by now in Hagaru, and 2/5 in the 
rear. At about midnight the 3/5 commander sent G and H Companies 
into the vehicle column to furnish security for the artillery, and an 
hour later the remainder of the battalion joined the column. Roise's 
2/5, which had passed through 3/7 came next, followed by Harris' 
rear guard. 

Interspersed among the infantry were elements of artillery and 
service troops with their vehicles, and the column became more scram- 
bled after each halt. 30 Two observation planes of VMO-6 circled over- 
head to give warning of enemy concentrations. Marine planes were on 
station continuously during daylight hours, strafing and rocketing to i 
the front and along both flanks. A total of 145 sorties, most of them 
in close air support of troops advancing along the Hagaru-Yudam-ni 
MSR, were flown on 3 December by the following units: 31 

"Stewart Comments. 

"Sources for (his section, unless otherwise noted, ate the same as those for the last 
and: J/1 tels to G-3 IstMarDiv, 0430 and 1715 4 Dec 50; C— 3 IstMarDiv tel to llthMar, 
0730 4 Dec 50; 7thMar teis to G-3 IstMarDiv, 0830 and 0925 4 Dec 50: G-3 stMarDiv 
tels to 3/1, 0950 and 1330 A Dec 50; Stevens Comments, 25 Jul 56. 

" MAG-33 SAR sec B 6-7; VMF-214 SAR t 5; IstMAW HD, Dec 50. 

Breakout From Yudam-ni 273 

Squadron Sorties 

VMF— 2 1 4 , , , . , , , 36* 

VMF-323 28 

VMF-212 27 

Mr— 312 l M . t t * 34 

JSKSHp ■ 7 

At the other end of the route the Royal Marine Commandos, rein- 
forced by a platoon of tanks, were sent out from Hagaru at 1630 on 
3 December, to drive the Chinese from the road leading into that 

Thanks to excellent air support, 1/7 met no opposition save harassing 
attacks. One of Davis's flanking patrols reported the flushing out of 
a few Chinese so exhausted by cold and hardships that they had aban- 
doned their weapons and holed up together for warmth. If these 
Marines had been in a mood for such reflections, they might have 
recalled that the American press of late had been bemoaning the sup- 
posed decline of the nation's young manhood. UN reverses in the 
summer of 1950 had led editorial writers to conclude that our troops 
had neither the legs for long marches nor the backs for the bearing of 
military burdens. Mechanization had gone so far, they lamented, that 
had become the servants rather than the masters of our own wheeled 
and tracked vehicles. 

The Marines of Davis' battalion might have taken a grim satisfac- 
tion, therefore, in encountering Chinese peasants, inured all their lives 
r o privations, whose will to fight had been broken by the hardships of 
r he past week. These Marines had not known a full night's sleep during 
that week. They had subsisted on a diet of crackers varied with canned 
rations thawed by body heat. They had been under continuous nervous 
pressure as well as physical strain, and yet they were able to summon 
°ne last burst of pride when the point neared the Hagaru perimeter at 
1900 on 3 December 1950. Several hundred yards from the entrance 
a halt was called while the men closed up into a compact column. 32 
Then they came in marching, their shoulders thrown back and their 
shoepacs beating a firm tread on the frozen road. ) ,- 

The Marines at the head of the column were followed by the walking 

" Since the four rifle companies had been left on key points, controlling the last two 
into Hagaru, the column 

£U half miles into Ha.aru, the column coated ™f y of H*S and Weapon, Com- 


The Chosht Reservoir Campaign 

wounded and the vehicles loaded with more serious cases, some of 
whom had been strapped to the hoods. All casualties were given medi- 
cal care and the remaining troops taken into warming tents for hot ' 
coffee. Many of them appeared dazed and uncomprehending at first. 
Others wandered about aimlessly with blank faces. But there were few 
who had suffered any psychological disturbances that could not be 
cleared up with a good night's sleep and some hot food. 

Troops of 4/11 and 3/5 were due to arrive next at Hagaru while 
1/5 and 2/5 echeloned companies forward along the MSR to provide 
flank protection. Not all the Chinese had lost aggressiveness, but the 
column had little difficulty until 0200 on 4 December. Then it came 
to a abrupt halt when prime movers of eight 155m howitzers ran out 
of diesel fuel. As far back asStnbung-ni 150 gallons had been requested 
but none had been delivered. 33 While the troops ahead, including 
G and H of 3/5, continued on towards Hagaru, unaware of the break, 
a bad situation developed around the stalled guns. 

Following the halting of the convoy Major Angus J. Cronin, in charge 
of 4/1 l's vehicle column, and his handful of truck drivers and can- 
noneers drove off a platoon of Chinese. These Marines were soon joined 
by Lieutenant Colonel Feehan's 1/11 and Able Company of 1/5. By 
the time Lieutenant Colonel Taplett arrived, the 155s had been moved 
off the road by Captain O. R. Lodge of 4/11, who continued in spite of 
a wound unril more severely wounded in the head, 

Roise and Stevens arrived shortly afterwards and the three battalion 
commanders drew up a hasty plan. While 3/5 built up a base of Are 
a platoon of Easy Company, 2/5, would move through the ridge north 
of the road to knock out the Chinese strong point. Up to this time there 
had been few and minor instances of panic during the breakout from 
Yudam-ni. But some confusion resulted when the enemy took advaU' 
tage of the delay to blow a small bridge ahead and increase his rate of 
fire. Thus a new roadblock awaited after the howitzers were removed, 
and two track drivers were killed while the engineers repaired the 
break. Other drivers bypassed the bridge and made a dash for safety 
by crossing the little stream on the ice. 

A comparatively few men, giving way to panic, were endangering 
the entire column. Behind one of the fleeing trucks an angry warrant 

"Lieutenant Meeker, dispatched from Hagaru with fuel, was unable to get through 
to the stalled artillery because of Chinese fire. Some of his men, however, did pass tW 
Chinese block and served as part of CWO Carlson's improvised gun crew. Capt E. U 
Meeker interv, 19 Jul 56, 

Breakout From Yudam-m 275 

officer pounded in pursuit, shouting some of the most sulphurous pro- 
fanity that Lieutenant Colonel Taplett had ever heard. 34 This was 
CWO Allen Carlson of Baker Battery, 1/11. He disappeared around 
a bend in the road, only to return a moment later with a chastened 
driver towing a 105mm howitzer. Carlson hastily recruited a crew and 
set up the piece beside the road for point-blank fire at the enemy posi- 
tion while Taplett directed the fire of a 75mm recodless rifle. 

A Charlie Battery howitzer and a 1/5 heavy machine gun added 
their contribution as a platoon of Easy Company, 2/5, attacked under 
cover of air strikes. The Chinese position was overrun at 0830 at an 
estimated cost to the enemy of 150 dead. Two other attacks were 
launched by infantry units of Roise's battalion on die high ground to 
the left before the MSR was cleared. 

When the 155mm howitzers were pushed off the road, it had been 
assumed that they would be retrieved. Only 1000 yards farther down 
the MSR was a cache of air-dropped diesel fuel, but efforts to bring 
back replenishments were frustrated by enemy fire. Attempts at recov- 
ery by the British Marines failed later that day, and orders were given 
for the destruction by air of the eight stalled howitzers plus a ninth 
^hich had previously been abandoned after skidding off the road. This 
w as the largest loss of weapons in the Yudam-ni breakout. 

At 1400 on 4 December the last elements of the rearguard, 3/7, 
entered the perimeter and the four-day operation passed into history. 
Some 1500 casualties were brought to Hagaru, a third of them being 
ln the non-battle category, chiefly frostbite cases. It had taken the 
head of the column about 59 hours to cover the 14 miles, and the rear 
units 79 hours. 

"Under the circumstances of its execution," commented General 
Smith, "the breakout was remarkably well conducted. Since centralized 
control of the widespread elements was a difficult task, particularly 
^ith a joint command, unit commanders were required to exercise a 
high degree of initiative. . . , The spirit and discipline of the men under 
ffie most adverse conditions of weather and terrain was another highly 
important factor contributing to the success of the operation and also 
effecting the quality of the leadership being exercised. "' w 


Regroupment at Hagaru 

43 1 2 Casualties Evacuated by Air — ^37 Replacements Flown to 
Hagaru — Air Drops of Ammunition — Planning for Breakout to 
Kota-ri—3/1 Relieved by RCT-5 at Hagaru — East Hill Re- 
binese— Attack of RCT~y to t, 
of the Division Trains 

The marines AT Hagaru would have been astonished to learn how 
much anxiety over their "encirclement" was being currently felt 
in the United States. It had been a rude shock for Americans who 
believed that the troops in Korea would be "home by Christmas" to 
realize that the unexpected Chinese intervention had created virtually 
a new war. This war, moreover, was apparently going against the UN 
forces. On Thanksgiving Day the victory over Communist aggression 
had seemed almost complete, yet only a week later the headlines an- 
nounced major reverses. The Eighth Army was in full retreat, and an 
entire Marine division was said to be "trapped." 

So disturbing were the reports from Korea, newspaper readers and 
ra dio listeners could scarcely have imagined the mood of confidence 
prevailing at Hagaru after the arrival of the troops from Yudam-ni. 
Even prior to that event, few Marines had any doubts as to the ability 
of the Division to fight its way out to the seacoast. 

The Hagaru perimeter presented a scene of bustling activity during 
the first days of December. Trucks and jeeps bounced along the bumpy 
roads in such numbers as to create a traffic problem. Twin-engined 
pknes roared in and out of the snow-covered airstrip at frequent inter- 
vals th roughout the daylight hours. Overhead the "Flying Boxcars" 
s piUed a rainbow profusion of red, blue, yellow, green and orange 
Parachutes to drift earthward with heavy loads of rations, gasoline and 
a mmunition. 

The busy panorama even had its humorous aspects. Parka-clad 


Marines displaying a five-day growth of beard went about with their 
cheeks bulging from an accumulation of Tootsie Rolls — a caramel con- 
fection much esteemed by Stateside youngsters for its long-lasting 
qualities. The Post Exchange Section had originally brought merchan- 
dise into Hagam on the assumption that it would be established as ft 
base. No space in vehicles was available for its removal and the com- 
manding general directed that the entire remaining stock, $13,547.80 
worth, chiefly candies and cookies, should be issued gratuitously to the 
troops. 1 Tootsie Rolls proved to be a prime favorite with men who 
would have scorned them in civilian life. Not only were they more 
tasty than half-frozen "C" rations, but they resulted in no intestinal 
disorders. Moreover, they were useful as temporary repairs for leaking 

There was nothing during the daytime to indicate the presence of 
CCF troops near Hagam. Even in hours of darkness the enemy was 
quiet throughout the first five nights of December. Apparently the 
Chinese were powerless to renew the attack until reinforcements and 

4312 Casualties Evacuated by Air 

Evacuation of the wounded was the chief problem on 2 December, 
when it became evident that previous estimates of losses at Yudam-ni | 
and among the Army troops east of the Reservoir were far too low. I 
A total of 914 casualties were flown out by the C-47s and R4Ds that ; 
day and more than 700 on the 3d. Captain Hering and his assistants 
had assumed that the Air Force evacuation officer was screening the 
casualties until he informed them that this was not his responsibility. 
The Division surgeon then set a Spartan standard. He passed per- 
sonally on all controversial cases and approved for evacuation only 
those in as bad shape as Lieutenant Commander Lessen den, the 5th 
Marines surgeon who had refused to be flown out and continued on 
duty after both feet were painfully frozen. Apparently it was not too 
severe a test for men who could stand the pain, since Lessenden suf- 
fered no permanent injuries. 2 

1 IstMarDiv SAU, annex T {Post Exchange), n. p. Smith, Notes, 1017-1018. 

'Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, U. S. Navy, Public Information Release, 21 Apr 51! 
LCdr J. H. Craven, (ChC) USN, interv by HistDiv, HQMC. 22 Oct 52; Hering, "Address 
Before U. S. Association of Military Surgeons, 5> Oct 52." 

RegroHpment at Hagaru 219 

Captain Hering had to use his medical authority in several instances 
to overcome the objections of Yudam-ni casualties who declined evacu- 
ation, though in obvious need of hospitalization. 3 

The liaison airstrip at Koto-ri had been of little use, since it was 
outside the perimeter and exposed to enemy fire. But the completion 
of a new strip on the 2d made it possible to evacuate about 47 casualties 
that day from the 2/1 perimeter.' 1 

More than 1400 casualties remained at Hagaru on the morning of 
5 December. They were all flown out before nightfall, making a total 
°f 4312 men (3150 Marines, 1137 Army personnel and 25 Royal Ma- 
rines) evacuated from Hagaru by air in the first five days of December, 
according to Marine figures. 5 X Corps estimated a total of 4207 for 
the same period. 8 

R4Ds of the 1st MAW, flying under Wing operational control, were 
^presented in the flights to and from Hagaru as well as the G-47s of 
the Combat Cargo Command, feap. 7 The large-scale casualty evacua- 
tion was completed without losing a man, even though the aircraft 
landing on the rough strip careened precariously as they bounced along 
the frozen runway. Only two planes could be accomodated simul- 
taneously at first, but Marine engineers widened the 2900-foot strip 
until six planes could be parked at a time. 

A four-engine Navy R5D made a successful landing with stretchers 
fl own in from Japan. After taking off with a load of wounded, the 
pi tat barely cleared the surrounding hills, and it was decided to risk 
further evacuations with such large aircraft. Two crash landings 
rnatred operations on the field. An incoming Marine K4D, heavily 
loaded with artillery ammunition, wiped out its landing gear on the 
rough surface and was abandoned after its load had been put to good 
Us e by the gunners. A second accident involved an Air Force C-47 which 
lost power on the take off and came down just outside the Marine lines 
Without injury to its load of casualties. Troops from the perimeter were 

Study of the frostbite casualties of the Chosin Reservoir campaign led to the 
tlw f if the t!lcrm:l1 hoot as an effective preventive measure during the operations of 
"e tol lowing two winters of the Knrean conflict 

ttJt SA !?i ! tj H Co l, w - *iJ!^2ftJ^ 7 Vch 56 ; x Cclr P s > s '" cU R ^ ot, < ch ° 5ht 

7"™'i', 93; Smith, Notes, 8<H; VMO-6 SAR, 13-18. 
t Smith, Notes, 993-999. 

, ^ ^ or P s Spedal Report, Chosin Reservoir, 93. 
Ma, Paul A. Noel, Jr. interv, 4 Dec 56. 


The Ckosm Reservoir Campaign 

rushed out immediately to rescue its occupants but the plane had to be 
destroyed. 8 

Not until long later were final official casualty reports rendered for 
the period of the Yudam-ni regroupment and breakout. Regimental 
figures are not available, and the totals included the losses suffered by 
the troops at Hagaru during the night of 30 November-1 December. 
Following are the figures for the 1st Marine Division as a whole 
throughout this five-day period: 





Battle 1 

50 Nov 






1 Dec 







2 Dec 







3 Dec. 







4 Dec 














annex E (Division Adjutant), appendix II, 3. 

_537 Replacements Flown to Hagaru 

At 1359, on 3 December, X Corps issued OI 22, directing the 1st Marine 
Division to withdraw all elements to Hamhung area via the Hagaru- 
Hamhung axis as rapidly as evacuation of wounded and other prepa- 
rations would permit. General Almond flew to Hagaru that same day 
for a conference with General Smith. Nothing further was said about 
destruction of equipment. At that very time, in fact, various critical 
items were being salvaged and flown out from Hagaru when space on 
planes was available. 

Surplus weapons had accumulated as a result of casualties and the 
Marine general wished to avoid the destruction of any material that 
could be removed by air without interfering with casualty evacuation. 
It was particularly necessary to salvage and fly out the parachutes and 
packages used for air drops, since a critical shortage of these had been 

' Ibid., Smith, Nofei, 998-999. 
■X Corps OI 22, 2 Dec 50. 

Re groupment at Hagaru 281 

reported from Japan. Before leaving Hagaru, the Division also planned 
to evacuate large quantities of stoves, tents, typewriters, rifles, machine 
guns and damaged 4,2" mortars. 10 

Space in empty planes landing at Hagaru was utilized not only for 
bringing in equipment and medical supplies, but also replacements. 
Since the Wonsan landing some hundreds of Marines, most of them 
wounded in the Inchon-Seoul operation, had returned from hospitals 
in Japan. These men, upon reporting at Hungnam, were temporarily 
assigned to the Headquarters Battalion, since the Division had no 
provision in its T/O for a replacement organization. Ordinarily they 
would have been returned to their units, but enemy action made this 
procedure impossible until the completion of the airstrip. 

During the first five days of December, therefore, 537 replacements 
were flown to Hagaru, fit for duty and equipped with cold-weather 
clothing. Those destined for the 1st Marines were assigned to the 3d 
Battalion for perimeter defense, and personnel for the 5 th and 7th 
Marines joined those units after their arrival at Hagaru. 

Major General William H. Tunner, USAF, the chief of the Combat 
Cargo Command, expressed astonishment during his visit of 5 Decem- 
ber on learning about these replacements. He had come to offer his 
C-47s for troop evacuation after the casualties were flown out, but 
General Smith explained that all able-bodied men would be needed 
for the breakout. 

Air Drops of Ammunition 

Visitors and press correspondents arrived daily at Hagaru in the empty 
C-47s and R4Ds. Among them was Miss Marguerite Higgins, reporter 
for the New York Herald-Tribune. General Smith ruled that for her 
own protection, considering the possibility of enemy attack, she must 
leave the perimeter before nightfall. 

French and British publications were represented as well as most of 
the larger American dailies and wire services. At one of the press con- 
ferences the question arose as to the proper name of the Marine opera- 
tion. A British correspondent had intended to refer to it as a "retreat" 
or "retirement;' but General Smith held that there could be no retreat 

* This section, except where otherwise noted, is derived from the following sources: 
G-l SAR, 6-7 and C~4 SAR 6-7, appendix 3-5; X Corps Special Report, Chosin 
Reservoir; Smith, Notes, 1011-1015, and Cbronhle, 103-105; Forney, Special Report, 
3-5; Maj M. J. Sexton interv by HistDiv, HQMC, 6 May 51. 

The Chosin Reservoir Campaign 

when there was no rear. Since the Division was surrounded, he main- 
tained, the word "retreat" was not a correct term for the coming break- 
out to the coast. 11 

General Smith and Lieutenant Colonel Murray were interviewed for 
television by Charles de Soria, who also "shot" Marines on infantry 
duty and casualties awaiting evacuation. These pictures and recordings 
were later shown in the United States under the title Gelhsemane. 

The correspondents were astonished to find the Hagaru perimeter 
so lacking in enemy activity. This quiet was shattered at 2010 on 5 
December when two B-26s bombed and strafed the area. Marine night 
fighters were absent on a search mission, but one was recalled to offer 
protection against further efforts of the sort. A possible explanation 
was advanced by First Lieutenant Harry S. Wilson, of VMF(N)-542, 
who reported that he had received orders by radio to attack Hagaru. 
It was his conviction that Chinese use of captured radio equipment 
accounted for the B-26 attack. 13 

The interlude of CCF inactivity gave the 1st Marine Division an 
opportunity to build up a stock of air-dropped ammunition and supplies. 
Poor communications had prevented the obtaining of advance infor- 
mation as to the requirements of the Yudam-ni troops, and their needs 
had to be estimated by the assistant G-4. 

It was planned that units moving out from Hagaru would take only 
enough supplies for the advance to Koto-ri. Materiel would be air- 
dropped there to support the next stage of the breakout. 

The C-119s of the Combat Cargo Command were called upon to fly 
in the largest part of the total of the 372.7 tons requested for air delivery 
at Hagaru. C-47s and R4Ds were available for some items, particu- 
larly of a fragile nature; and specially packaged small drops to meet 
specific needs could be made by planes of the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, 

Officers and men of the Headquarters Battalion at Hagaru were 
ordered to assist the 1st Regulating Detachment in the operation of 
the Hagaru airhead. Army service troops were also assigned to the 
task, and dumps were set up adjacent to the drop zone for the direct 
issuing of supplies. The major items requested were artillery, mortar 
and small arms ammunition, hand grenades, gasoline and diesel oil, 
rations, and communication wire. 13 

"Smith, Noies, 977-978; Chronicle, 103-106. 

u IstMarDiv G-3 Journal, 5-6 Dec 50, entry 7; Maj H. E. Hood, memo: Close Air 
Support, 11 Feb 51; Wilson inters 29 Jan 51. 

fs HqBn URpi 13; G-4 SAR, appendix II, 2-3; LtCol F. Simpson Comments, 24 Sep 56. 

RsgrotipTnent at Ha gar h 283 

There is no record of the amounts actually received. Pilots sometimes 
missed the drop zone so far that the containers were "captured" by the 
enemy or landed in areas where recovery was not feasible because of 
enemy fire. In other instances, the supplies fell near the positions of 
front-line units which issued diem on the spot without any formalities 
of bookkeeping. 

Breakage rates were high, due to the frozen ground. About 70 per 
cent of the POL products and 70 to 80 per cent of the rations were 
recovered in usable condition. Of the artillery ammunition delivered 
to the drop zone, 40 per cent was badly damaged and only 25 per cent 
ever reached the gun positions. About 45 per cent of the small arms 
ammunition was recovered and usable. A hundred per cent of die 
requested mortar ammunition and 90 per cent of the 81mm rounds 
were put into the air over the drop zone, though the damage rate was 
nearly as high as that of the artillery shells. 11 

In spite of the seemingly low percentages of receipts as compared to 
requests, it was considered that the Hagaru air drops had been success- 
ful on the whole, "Without the extra ammunition," commented Gen- 
eral Smith, "many more of the friendly troops would have been killed. 
■ ■ . There can be no doubt that die supplies received by this method 
proved to be the margin necessary to sustain adequately Hie operations 
of the division during this period." 10 

Planning for Breakout to Koto-ri 

The need of the Yudam-ni troops for recuperation was so urgent that 
6 December was set as the D-day of the attack from Hagaru to Koto-ri. 
On the recommendation of his staff, General Smith decided that the 
need of the troops for rest and regroupment outweighed the advantages 
°f a speedy advance, even though the enemy would be allowed more 
time to get his forces into position along the MSR. 

Another factor influencing this decision was the thinning of the com- 
mand group and staff sections of the Division. It will be recalled that 
General Craig, the Assistant Division Commander, had recently been 
returned on emergency leave to the United States. Colonel Walseth 
(G-l) was wounded on 30 November, while Lieutenant Colonel Chi- 

"G-4 SAR, appendix II, 3-5. 
Smith, Notes, 1010. 

The Chosin Reservoir Campaign 

dester, had been MIA since that date. Colonel McAlister (G-4) had 
been directed to remain at Hungnam to co-ordinate logistic functions. 

A serious handicap to planning was the shortage of staff personnel. 
This was due in part to the casualties suffered by the last convoy of 
Headquarters troops to move up from Hungnam. Moreover, the office 
force had been depleted by calls for reinforcements to defend the 

By dint of working round the clock, however, planning for the break- 
out to Koto-ri was completed on schedule. OpnO 25-50, issued at 0800 
on 5 December, provided for an advance of the 1st Marine Division 
at first light the following morning on the Koto-ri-Chinhung-ni-Majon- 
dong axis to close the Hamhung area. The principal subordinate units 
were assigned these tasks: 

(a) RCT-5 (3/1 attached) to relieve all elements on perimeter defense in 
the Hagaru a tea by 1200, 5 December; to cover the movement of 
RCT-7 out of Hagaru to the south; to follow RCT-7 to the south on 
the Hagaru- ri-Koto-ri-Chinhung-ni axis; to protect the Division rear 
from Hagaru to Koto-ri; and to follow RCT-7 from Koto-ri to the 
Hamhung area as Division reserve. 
RCT— 7 to advance south at first light on 6 December on the Hagaru- 
Koto-ri-Chinhung-ni axis to close the Hamhung area, 
(c) RCT-I (-) to continue to hold Koto-ri and Chanhung-ni, protecting 
the approach and passage of the remainder of the Division through 
Koto-ri; and to protect the Division rear from Koto-ri to the Ham- 
hung area. 10 

All personnel except drivers, relief drivers, radio operators, casualties 
and men specially designated by RCT commanders, were to march on 
foot alongside motor serials to provide close-in security. It was directed 
that vehicles breaking down should be pushed to the side of the road 
and destroyed if not operative by the time the column passed. During 
halts a perimeter defense of motor serials was to be established. 

Nine control points were designated by map references to be used for 
reporting progress of the advance or directing air drops. Demolitions to 
clear obstacles from the front and to create them to the rear were planned 
by the Division Engineer Officer. 

Division AdminO 20-50, which accompanied OpnO 25-50, pre- 
scribed that the troops were to take enough "C" rations for two days, 
equally distributed between individual and organic transportation. Se- 

" IstMarDiv OpnO 25-5Q, 5 Dec 50. Other sources for the remainder of this section 
are: IstMarDiv AdmO 20-50, <f Dec 50; IstMarDiv Destruction Plan, Hagaru Area, 
A Dec 50; Smith. Chronicle, 104-106. 



lected items of "B" rations were to be loaded on organic vehicles, and 
the following provision was made for ammunition: 

On individual, up to 1 U/F per individual weapon; on vehicle, minimum 
1 U/F, then proportionate share per RCT until dumps depleted or transpor- 
tation capacity exceeded. 

Helicopter evacuation was indicated for emergency cases. Other 
casualties were to be placed in sleeping bags and evacuated in vehicles 
of the column. 

Two Division trains were set up by AdmmO 20-50. Lieutenant 
Colonel Banks commanded Train No, 1, under E.CT-7; and No. 2, 
under RCT-5, was in charge of Lieutenant Colonel Milne. Each motor 
serial in the trains was to have a commander who maintained radio 
communication with the train commander. 

Truck transportation not being available for all supplies and equip- 
ment at Hagaru, a Division destruction plan was issued on 4 December, 
making unit commanders responsible for disposing of all excess sup- 
plies and equipment within their own areas. "Commanding officer 1st 
Regulating Detachment is responsible for destruction all classes sup- 
plies and equipment remaining in dumps," the order continued. "Unit 
commanders and CO 1st Regulating Detachment report types and 
amounts of supplies and equipment to this headquarters (G-4) prior 
to destruction. Permission to use fuel and ammunition for destruction 
purposes must be obtained from this headquarters (G-4)." 

3/1 Relieved by RCT-5 at Hagaru 

General Smith held conferences on 4 and 5 December of senior unit 
commanders. During the afternoon of the 4th General Almond arrived 
by plane and was briefed on the plan for the breakout. In a brief 
ceremony at the Division CP he presented the Distinguished Service 
Cross to General Smith, Colonel Litzenberg and Lieutenant Colonels 
Murray and Beall. 

The night of 5-6 December was the fifth in a row to pass without 
enemy activity at Hagaru. But if Division G-2 summaries were to be 
credited, it was the calm before the storm. For the Chinese were be- 
lieved to be assembling troops and supplies both at Hagaru and along 
the MSR to Koto-ri. Up to this time seven CCF divisions, the 58th, 
59th, 60th, 76th, 79th, 80th and 89th, had been identified through POW 


The Chasm Reservoir Campaign 

interrogations. But there were evidences that the 77th and 78th were 
also within striking distance." 

At 1200 on 5 December the 5th Marines relieved 3/1 of the respon- 
sibility for the defense of the Hagaru area. Division elements other 
than infantry were withdrawn from the front line, leaving Lieutenant 
Colonel Murray's three battalions, with 3/1 attached, disposed around 
the perimeter as follows: 

1/5 — From the Yudam-ni road around the north of Hagaru and astride the 
Changjin Valley to a point at the base of the ridge about 1,000 yards 
east of the bridge over the Changjin River. 

2/5 — In position on western slopes of East Hill. 

3/5— From the south nose of East Hill west across the river to link up with 
3/1 south of the airstrip. 

3/1— South and southwest of airstrip in sector formerly held by How and 
Item Companies of 3/1. 18 

Not only were the CCF positions on East Hill a threat to Hagaru; 
they also dominated the road leading south to Koto-ri. Thus the plan 
for the breakout called for simultaneous attacks to be launched at first 
light on the 6th— RCT-5 to regain the enemy-held portion of East Hill, 
and RCT-7 to lead the advance of the Division motor column toward 

A plan for air support, prepared by the command and staff of the 
1st MAW, was brought to Hagaru by Brigadier General Thomas J. 
Cushman, Assistant Wing Commander, on 5 December. Aircraft were 
to be on station at 0700 to furnish close support for the attack on East 
Hill. Along the MSR to Koto-ri an umbrella of 24 close support air- 
craft was to cover the head, rear and flanks of the breakout column 
while search and attack planes scoured the ridges flanking the road 
and approaches leading into it. Support was also to be furnished after 
dark by the night hecklers. All strikes within three miles of either side 
of the MSR were to be controlled by the ground forces while the planes 
were free to hit any targets beyond. 

The concentration of aircraft covering the advance south from Hag- 
aru was one of the greatest of the whole war. Marine planes at Yonpo 
would, of course, continue approximately 100 daily sorties to which 
VMF-323 would add 30 more from the Badoeng Strait. The Navy's 
fast carriers, Leyte, Valley Forge, Philip pine Sea, and Princeton were 

"Smith, Notes, 1025, 1051; CG's Diary in X Corps Command Report Annex (CR), 
4 Dec 50. 

"CG IstMarDiv msg to Subordinate Units, Hagaru, 2000 A Dec 50; 5th Mar SAR, 

Re groupment at Hagaru 

to abandon temporarily their deep support or interdiction operations 
and contribute about 100 or more attack sorties daily. The Fifth Air 

yond the bomb line. To augment the carrier support for the X Corps 
consolidation and possible redeployment by sea, VMF-212 had de- 
parted Yonpo on 4 December and was re-equipping in Itami for return 
to battle aboard the newly arrived USS Btttaan. The Sicily was also 
heading for the area to take back aboard the Corsairs of VMF-214 on 
7 December. 10 

Continuous artillery support, both for RCT-5 and RCT-7, was 
planned by the 11th Marines. Two batteries of the 3d Battalion and 
one of the 4 th were to move out at the head of the RCT-7 train, the 
two from 3/11 to occupy initial positions halfway to Koto-ri to support 
the attack southward to that objective, and the 4/11 battery to take 
position in Koto-ri and provide general support northward in combina- 
tion with the battery of 2/11 attached to that perimeter. The remaining 
batteries of the 3d and 4th Battalions would provide initial support 
from Hagaru southward until ordered to move out. 

The three batteries of 1/11, with D/ll attached, were to support 
the operations of RCT-5 in a similar manner. Two batteries would 
move out at the head of the regimental train to positions halfway to 
Koto-ri, the remaining two would fire to the south in support of with- 
drawing units and then displace when the first two were in position. 20 

Throughout the night of 5-6 December, the darkness was stabbed 
by flashes as the artillery at Hagaru fired concentrations to saturate 
the area along the Hagaru -Koto-ri axis. In order to prevent cratenng of 
the road the 155's fired VT rounds. A secondary purpose of this bom- 
bardment was to expend profitably the surplus of ammunition which 
could not be brought out. 21 

At daybreak on the 6th the Division Headquarters broke camp. Gen- 
eral Smith had decided to fly the command group to Koto-ri in advance 

IstMAW OprtO 2-30, 5 Dec 50; IstMAW, "Summary of Air Support for 6 Dec," 
| Dec 50; IstMarDiv SAR, annex CC (Air Officer), 6-7; CinCPacFlt, Interim Evaluation 
Report JSTo, j ( m, 225-226; MajGen H. L. Litzenberg Comments, 5 Oct 56; Ma) H, D. 
Kuokka interv, 13 Dec 56. IstMAW II D, Dec 50. The VMF-214 pilots casually made 
twsfr transition from shore to carrier base between sorties. 

IstMarDiv SAR, annex SS {hereafter UMar SAR), H. As a consequence of the loss 
ot nine 155mro howitzers during the last night of the Yudam-ni- Hagaru breakout, 4/11 
was reorganized into two firing batteries of four howitzers each. 

Ibid., IstMarDiv POR 209, 6 Dec 50; LtCol W. McReynolds Comments. 16 Aug 56. 


The Chosin Reservoir Campaign 

of the troops, so that planning could begin immediately for the break- 
Out from Koto-ri southward. General Barr visited during the morning 
and was informed that the 7th Infantry Division casualties who had 
reached Hagaru had been flown out. The remaining 490 able-bodied 
men (including 385 survivors of Task Force Faith) had been provided 
with Marine equipment and organized into a provisional battalion under 
the command of Lieutenant Colonel Anderson, USA. This battalion 
was attached to the 7th Marines and sometimes referred to as 31/7. 

Throughout the morning General Smith kept in close touch with the 
progress of RCT-7 toward Koto-ri. At 1400 a reassuring message was 
received from Colonel Litzenberg, and the commanding general took 
off from Hagaru by helicopter. Ten minutes later he and bis aide, Cap- 
tain Martin J. Sexton, landed at Koto-ri. The other members of the 
command group, following by OY and helicopter, set up in a large 
tent at Koto-ri and started planning for the next staged 3 

East Hill Retaken from Chinese 

Meanwhile, at Hagaru, Lieutenant Colonel Murray had designated his 
2d Battalion for the assault on East Hill. At 0700 on 6 December, as 
the 4.2" mortars began their planned preparation, the 7th Marines had 
already initiated the breakout to Koto-ri. When Marine planes arrived 
on station at 0725, a shortage of napalm tanks limited the air attack 
to bombing, rocket and strafing runs. These had little apparent effect on 
the objective. Further air strikes were directed by the FAC, First Lieu- 
tenant Manning T. Jeter, Jr., who was severely wounded while standing 
on the crest to direct the Corsairs to the target. Captain David G. John- 
son, the air liaison officer, took his place, A total of 76 planes partici- 
pated in the day's air attacks. 

At 0900 Captain Smith's Dog Company moved out to the assault 
(see Map 26) with First Lieutenant George A. Sorenson's 3d Platoon 
in the lead, followed by the 2d and 1st Platoons in that order. 23 Attack- 
ing to the northward, Sorensen was pinned down by fire from Objective 
A before he had covered 50 yards. This was the enemy's main forward 

"Smith, Notes, 1058-1060; Ht|Bn, UD, Dec 50, 5. 

"This section, except when otherwise noted, is based upon the following sources: 
5thMar SAR, 31-32; 1/5 SAR, 17-13; 2/5 SAR, 27-29; Smith, Note!, 1031-103?; 
Geer, The New Breed. 353-357; Opt S. Smith, IstLt J. R. Hincs (sic) and IstLt J. H. 
Honeymtt, interv by Capt K. A. Shutts, A Feb 51; Alvarez Itr, 18 Oct 55, Col R. t. 
Murray, Comments, n. d. 

position on East Hill, which he had held against Marine attacks ever 
since seizing it in the early morning hours of 29 November. First 
Lieutenant John R. Hinds replaced Sorensen, after that officer was 
wounded. While he engaged the enemy frontally, First Lieutenant 
George C. McNaughton's 2d Platoon poured in flanking fires and First 
Lieutenant Richard M. Johnson's 1st Platoon executed a flanking move- 

Chinese resistance suddenly collapsed about 1100. Thus it seemed 
almost an anticlimax that East Hill, after holding out against the 
Marines more than a week, should have been retaken at a cost of one 
man killed and three wounded. About 30 CCF dead were found. 

As events were to prove, however, this was but the first round in a 
hard-fought 22-hour battle for the hill mass. The next phase began at 
1130, when Roise ordered Captain Peters' Fox Company to relieve 
Smith so that Dog Company could resume the attack against Objective 
B, a ridge about 500 yards to the southeast. The lower slopes of this 
position were now being cleared by 2/7- 

After a 10-minute artillery preparation, the three platoons of Dog 
Company jumped off at 1250. The Chinese put up a stubborn resistance 
and it took until 1430 to seize the new objective. Marine casualties were 
moderate, however, and Captain Smith set up three platoon positions 
along the ridge running to the south whence he could control the road 
leading out of Hagaru, 

Late in the day the enemy appeared to be massing for a counter- 
attack in the saddle between the two objectives. Johnson called an air 
strike and all Dog and Fox Company troops within range opened up 
with everything they had as McNaughton led a patrol against the 
Chinese in the saddle. Caught between the infantry fires and the rocket 
and strafing runs of the Corsairs, the CCF survivors surrendered en 
masse to McNaughton and his platoon. About 220 prisoners were taken 
to set a record for the 1st Marine Division in the Reservoir campaign. 2 * 

At the request of Captain Smith, the saddle between the two Marine 
companies was occupied by reinforcements consisting of an officer and 
1 1 men from the regimental AT Company and an officer and 32 men 
from the 4th Signal Battalion, USA, Shortly after dark the enemy 
launched a vigorous counterattack. Tanks and 8 1 mm mortars fired in 
support of Marines who made good use of 2.36" white phosphorus 
rockets at close range. 

"2/5 SAR, 28-29. 

Recoupment at Hagaru 


Although the Chinese endured frightful casualties, they returned 
again and again to the attack until midnight. It was evident that they 
considered this a fight to a finish for East Hill, and at 0205 they renewed 
the assault against all three companies of the 2d Battalion as well as 
Charlie Company of the 1st Battalion, 

The struggle during the next three hours was considered the most 
spectacular if not the most fiercely contested battle of the entire Reser- 
voir campaign even by veterans of the Yudam-ni actions. Never before 
had they seen the Chinese come on in such numbers or return to the 
attack with such persistence. The darkness was crisscrossed with a 
fiery partem of tracer bullets at one moment, and next the uncanny 
radiance of an illumination shell would reveal Chinese columns shuffling 
m at a trot, only to go down in heaps as they deployed. Marine tanks, 
artillery, mortars, rockets and machine guns reaped a deadly harvest, 
and still the enemy kept on coming with a dogged fatalism which 
commanded the respect of the Marines, Looking like round little 
gnomes in their padded cotton uniforms, groups of Chinese contrived 
at times to approach within grenade-throwing distance before being 
cut down. 

The fight was not entirely one-sided. The Marines took a pounding 
from CCF mortars and machine guns, and by 0300 Dog Company was 
hard-pressed in its three extended positions pointed like a pistol at the 
heart of the enemy's assembly areas. Both McNaughton and the execu- 
tive officer, First Lieutenant James H. Honeycutt, were wounded but 
remained in action. 

This was the second time in three months that Dog Company had 
spearheaded a Marine attack on a desperately defended hill complex, 
Northwest of Seoul in September, only 26 able-bodied men had sur- 
vived to break the back of North Korean resistance. The company com- 
mander, First Lieutenant H. J. Smith, had died a hero's death at the 
moment of victory, and First Lieutenant Karle F. Seydel was the unit's 
only unwounded officer. 

Now another Smith commanded Dog Company, and Seydel was killed 
as enemy pressure from front and flank threatened to overwhelm the 
three riddled platoons. Casualties of 13 KIA and 50 WIA were taken in 
the battle for East Hill as Dog Company and the provisional platoons 
fell back fighting to the former Objective A and tied in with Fox 


6-7 DECEMBER 1950 

<-m~7> M o r f ne p »[tion» <> <> <> Tank! 

Regroupment at Hagaru 


were beaten off with ruinous losses by Jaskilka's Easy Company of 2/5, 
Jones' Charlie Company of 1/5 and three Army tanks (see Map 27). 
Enemy troops had to cross a comparatively level expanse which pro- 
vided a lucrative field of fire for Marine supporting arms. Heaps of 
CCF dead, many of them charred by white phosphorus bursts, were 
piled up in front of the Marine positions. 

Next, the Chinese hit Captain James B. Heater's Able Company of 
l/5» Still farther to the left, and overran several squad posirions. One 
platoon was forced to withdraw to the rise on which the Division CP 
had previously been located. The lines were restored at 0546 with the 
help of Lieutenant Hancock and his Baker Company, which had been 
in reserve. Altogether the 1st Battalion had suffered casualties of ten 
killed and 43 wounded, while the counted CCF slain numbered 260 
in front of Charlie Company and 200 in the area of Able Company. 
George Company of 3 /l also beat off a Chinese attack on the south of 
the perimeter. With the coming of daylight these Marines found that 
they had one of the Chinese withdrawal routes under their guns. Mor- 
tar and rifle fire annihilated one group of about 60 enemy and another 
group of 15 Reds surrendered . 2K 

The new day revealed a scene of slaughter which surpassed anything 
the Marines had seen since the fight for the approaches of Seoul in 
September. Estimates of CCF dead in front of the 2d Battalion positions 
on and around East Hill ran as high as 800, and certain it is that the 
enemy had suffered a major defeat. 

When Marine air came on station, the Chinese as usual scattered for 
cover. About 0200 Murray ordered 3 /5, which had not been in contact 
with the enemy during the night, to displace to the south at the head 
°f Division Train No. 2, followed by 1/5 and Ridge's batralion of rhe 
1st Marines. This meant that Roise's men with a platoon of tanks and 
the engineers in charge of demolitions would be the last troops out of 

Attack of RCT-j to the South 

During the 22-hour battle on East Hill the 7th Marines had been at- 
tacking toward Koto-ri (see Map 28) . On the eve of the breakout the 
gaps in the infantry ranks were partially filled with 300 artillerymen 
from the Utb Marines, bringing Litzenberg's strength up to about 2200 

"Capt G. E. Shepherd, "Attack to the South," (MS), 10-li. 


The Chosin Reservoir Campaign 

men, 7th Mar OpnO 14-50 called for the advance to be initiated at 
first light on 6 December as follows: 

1st Battalion— to move out at 0430 to clear the ground to the right of the 

2d Battalion — supported by tanks, to attack as advanced guard along the 

Provisional Battalion (31/7) — to clear the ground to the left of the 
MSR; 2<t 

3d Battalion- — to bring up the rear of the regimental train, with George 
Company disposed along both flanks as security for the vehicles. 27 

Daybreak revealed a peculiar silvery fog covering the Hagam area. 25 
The 1st Battalion, with Charlie Company in assault, had as its first 
objective the high ground southeast of Tonae-ri. No resistance was 
encountered, though 24 Chinese were surprised asleep in their positions 
near the objective and 17 of them killed. 

The 2d Platoon of Dog Company, 1st Tank Battalion, was attached to 
2/7 when the advance guard jumped off at 0630 from the road block 
south of Hagaru. Almost immediately the column ran into trouble. 
Upon clearing the road block the lead dozer-tank took three hits from 
a 3.5 bazooka. Within twenty minutes the column came under heavy 
fire from CCF positions on the high ground on the left. Fox Company, 
in the lead, was allowed to pass before the enemy opened up on the 
Battalion Command Group, Dog- Easy Company and Weapons Com- 
pany, The fog prevented air support initially. When it lifted, First 
Lieutenant John G. Theros, FAC of 2/7, brought in Marine aircraft and 
81mm fire on the CCF position. 20 It took a coordinated attack by the 
two infantry companies and the tanks, however, before the resistance 
could be put down and the advance resumed at 1200. Two and a half 
hours later the upper reaches of this hill were cleared by D/5. 

After 2/7 and air smothered the initial Chinese resistance, Fox Com- 
pany and the platoon of Dog/Tanks advanced down the road. About 

™ Since the ground to the left of the MSR was too cut up to permit advance through 
the high ground, the Provisional Battalion -was to operate from the valley and clear 
enemy from noses found to be occupied. Litzenberg Comments, 5 Oct 56. 

"Sources for this section, except where olherwise noted, are: 7thMar SAR, 24; 3/7 
SAR, n. p.; Smith, Note:, 1029-1031, 1033-1047; RCT-7 URpt 6; IstLt J. B. Chandler, 
"Thank God I'm a Marine," Leatherneck Magazine, xxiv, no. 6 (Jun 51), 25—26; MajGen 
H. L. Litzenberg, Recollections of the Action from Hagaru to Koto-ri, 6-7 December 1950, 
2 Oct 56, and Comments, 5 Oct 56; Col R. G, Davis Comments, 28 Sep 56; Sawyer Com- 
ments, 7 Sep 56; LtCol H, T. Milne Comments, 24 Sep 56; LtCol M. E. Roach Comments, 
27 Nov 56. 

"Litzenberg Recollections, 2 Oct 56*. 
IstLt J. G. Theros, interv by Capt S. W. Higginbotham, 16 Feb 51 ; Litzenberg 
Recollections, 2 Oct 56. 


The Chosin Reservoir Campaign 

4000 yards south of Hagaru they met the next resistance. Although 
the Chinese positions were in plain sight of 1/7, neither 2/7 nor air 
could spot them. Colonel Litzenberg and Lieutenant Colonel Lockwood 
atempted to co-ordinate mortar fires from 2 /7 with observation from 
1/7, but were unsuccessful because of poor radio communications. Fol- 
lowing an erratic artillery barrage and some good shooting by the 
tanks, Fox Company cleared the enemy position about 1500, aided by a 
Dog-Easy flanking attack and the Provisional Battalion. In order to 
assist 2/7, Baker Company of 1/7 came down from the ridge west of 
the river to act as right flank guard. 

Meanwhile 1/7 continued to push ahead methodically to the right 
of theMSR as the three rifle companies leapfrogged one another. Enemy 
contact was continual but no serious opposition developed during the 
daytime hours. On the left flank the Provisional Battalion had several 
fire fights, while the advance was uneventful for the 3d Battalion fol- 
lowing in the rear of the regimental train. 

About 5000 yards had been covered by dusk. Enemy resistance stiff- 
ened after dark, as had been anticipated. The planners had realized 
that the movement could have been made in daylight hours with fewer 
losses in personnel and equipment. But intelligence of the expected 
arrival of CCF reinforcements influenced the decision to continue the 
march throughout the night even at the cost of increased opposition. 
By noon long lines of Chinese could be seen along the sky line to the 
east of the road moving towards the MSR. Air attacked these reinforce- 
ments but could not stop their movement, as later events proved. 

About 8000 yards south of Hagaru, in Hell Fire Valley, a Chinese 
machine gun on the left stopped the 2d Battalion at 2200. The column 
was held up until midnight before Army tank fire knocked out the 
enemy gun. After covering 1200 more yards a blown bridge caused 
another halt while Dog Company engineers made repairs. Movement 
was resumed at 0200 when a second blown bridge resulted in a delay 
of an hour and a half before it could be bypassed. 

Dawn brought a significant innovation in air support. Circling above 
the 11-mile column inching toward Koto-ri was an airborne Tactical 
Air Direction Center (tadc) installed in an R5D of VMR-152 and 
operated by Major Harlen E. Hood and his communicators from 
MTACS-2. Major Christian C. Lee, Commanding Officer of mtacs- 
2, had made arrangements when he realized that with his radios packed 
in trucks and jeeps he could not control close air support effectively, 

Re groupment at Hagaru 


Only the addition of one radio to those standard in the aircraft was 
necessary to provide basic communications, but when being readied for 
the predawn takeoff the mission faced failure because an engine 
wouldn't start. Minus a refueler truck, the crew chief, Technical 
Sergeant H. C. Stuart, had worked all night to pour 2400 gallons of gas 
mto the craft by hand. Now, in the bitter cold of dawn, he set about to 
overhaul the starring motor. Two hours later Major John N. Swartley 
was piloting the plane over the MSR. ao 

No trouble was encountered by 2/7 along the last few miles of the 
route and the battalion was first to arrive at Koto-ri. Meanwhile, the 
3d Battalion had been assigned the additional mission of replacing the 
Provisional Battalion as protection for the left flank as well as rear of 
rhe 7th Marines train. A brief fire fight developed at about 2100 as the 
Chinese closed to hand-grenade range. Lieutenant Colonel Harris de- 
ployed George and Item Companies around the vehicles and drove the 
enemy back to a respectful distance. Between 0200 and 0430, Item 
Company of 3/7 and a platoon of tanks were sent back up the road to 
dear out a troublesome Chinese position near Hell Fire Valley. 

About 0200, during a halt for bridge repairs, the 7th Marines train 
was hit by enemy fire. The regimental command group suffered most. 
Captain Donald R. France and First Lieutenant Clarence E. McGuin- 
ness were killed and Lieutenant Colonel Frederick W. Dowsett was 
wounded. While Lieutenant (jg) Robert G. Medemeyer, (MC) , USN, 
gave first aid, Chaplain (Lieutenant (jg)) Cornelius J. Griffin entered 
an ambulance to console a dying Marine. CCF machine gun bullets 
shattered his jaw and killed Sergeant Matthew Caruso at his side. Lieu- 
tenant Colonel Harris and Major Roach supervised the deployment of 
How Company troops to beat off the attack. 

About 0530 Lieutenant Colonel Harris disappeared. A search was 
made for him to no avail and he was listed as a MIA. It was later deter- 
mined that he had been killed. 

The 1st Battalion of RCT-7, after a relatively uneventful march over 
rhe high ground west of the river, moved down the slope to join the 
regimental column. Major Warren Morris assumed command of the 
3d Battalion, which reached Koto-ri about 0700. At about 1100, after 
a brief rest, the men were ordered together with Lockwood's troops to 
move back up along the MSR to the north and set up blocking between 

" IstMAW SAR, Annex I (VMR-152), 11-12, and annex K, appendix J, (hereafter 
ffTACS- 2MR), 25; Air Officer's Rpt, in X Corps CR, 6 Dec 50; LtCol J. N. Swartley 
to to authors. 15 Oct 56. 


The Cbosin Reservoir Campaign 

Koto-ri and Hill 1182 to keep the road open for other units of the 
Division. 31 While carrying out this mission, the 2d Battalion helped 
to bring in 22 British Marines who had been stranded ever since the 
Task Force Drysdale fight on the night of 29-30 November. Their 
plight was not known until 4 December, when an OY pilot saw the 
letters H-E-L-P stamped out in the snow and air-dropped food and 
medical supplies. 

Advance of the Division Trains 

By 1700 on 7 December all elements of RCT-7 were in the perimeter 
at Koto-ri. Division Train No. 1 was due next, and the planners had 
hoped that the rifle battalions would clear the way for the vehicles. 
At it proved, however, the Chinese closed in behind RCT-7 and attacked 
the flanks of the convoy, with the result that the service troops actually 
saw more action than the infantrymen. 

One of the causes may be traced to the fact that Division Train No. 1 
had to wait at Hagaru until 1600 on the 6th before RCT-7 made enough 
progress toward Koto-ri to warrant putting the convoy on the road. 
About 2000 yards south of Hagaru elements of the 3d Battalion, lltb 
Marines, were hit in the early darkness by CCF mortar and small-arms 
fire. The gunners of George and How Batteries deployed as infantry- 
men and repulsed the enemy at the cost of a few casualties. 

Upon resuming the march, a second fire fight took place after 1500 
more yards had been covered. Several vehicles, set afire by Chinese 
mortar shells, blocked the road and brought the convoy to a halt. At 
daybreak the enemy swarmed to the attack in formidable numbers. It 
was nip and tuck as all pieces of How Battery and three howitzers of 
George Battery were emplaced between the trucks of the 1st MT Bat- 

There was no opportunity to dig in the trails of guns employing time 
fire with fuses cut for ranges of 40 to 500 yards. But the Chinese were 
stopped cold by two hours of continuous fire after approaching within 
40 yards. All but about 50 of an estimated 500 to 800 enemy were 
killed or wounded before the remainder fled, according to the estimate 
of the gunners. 32 

" IstMarDiv msg to 7thMar, 1030 7 Dec 50; CO RCT 7 FragO, 0930 7 Dec 50. 

a Unless otherwise noted the description of the movement of the division trains is 
based on: HqBn, HD, Dec 50, 6-9; HqBn, URpt 13; Ma} F. Simpson interv by Gipt K. A. 
Shutts, 11 Apr SI. 

Re groupment at Hagaru 

The convoy of the Division Headquarters Company also had to fight 
its way. Small arms ammunition had been distributed throughout the 
column, and light machine guns were mounted on top of truck loads. 
AH able-bodied men with the exception of drivers and radio operators 
walked in single file on either side of the vehicles carrying the wounded. 

Progress was slow, with many halts caused by CCF fire. At 0130 
several trucks were set aflame by enemy mortar shells and 2.36 rockets. 
Headquarters troops deployed in roadside ditches while two machine 
guns manned by bandsmen kept the Chinese at a distance. At 0200 
the clouds cleared enough to permit strikes by night hecklers of VMF 
(N)-513. They stopped the Chinese until just before daylight, when a 
company-size group penetrated within 30 yards of the convoy. During 
this fight First Lieutenant Charles H. Sullivan, who measured six feet 
four and weighed 240 pounds, emptied his carbine at advancing Chinese. 
Then he hurled it like a javelin to drive the bayonet into the chest of an 
opponent at 15 feet. 

Under the coaching of the MTACS commander, Major Lee, two more 
night fighters— Major Albert L. Clark and First Lieutenant Truman 
Clark — pinned the Chinese down with srrafing runs as close as 30 yards 
from the Marine ground troops. At dawn Major Percy F. Avant, Jr., 
and his four-plane division from VMF-312 dumped about four tons of 
^plosives and napalm on Chinese who broke and ran for cover. The fire 
fi ght had cost Headquarters Battalion 6 KIA and 14 WIA 33 

The MP Company, just forward of Headquarters Company, had 
the problem of guarding about 160 Chinese prisoners. Captives unable 
to walk had been left behind at Hagaru, where Lieutenant Colonel 
Murray directed that the wounded be given shelter and provided with 
food and fuel by the departing Marines. The prisoners escorted by 
the MPs were lying in the middle of the road during the attack when 

enemy seemed to concentrate his fire on them while shouting in 
Chinese. A scene of pandemonium ensued as some of the able-bodied 
prisoners attempted to make a break. Now the Marines as well as the 
e nemy fired into them and 137 were killed in the wild melee. 

When the convoy got under way again, two Communists were cap- 
tured and 15 killed after being flushed out of houses in the village of 
Pusong-ni. At daybreak a halt was called in Hell Fire Valley for the 

,, " This description of the headquarters convoy fight is based on: Ibid.; Cpl G. L. Coon, 
Versatility," Leatherneck Magazine, xxiv, no. J (Mar 51), 18-19; Simpson Com- 
PwtB, 24 Sept 56; MTACS-2 SAR, 19; Mai C. C. Lee interv by Dipt S. W. Higgtn- 
^tham, 7 Feb 31. Comments. 14 Aug 56, and fe I Nov 56. 

The Chosin Reservoir Campaign 

purpose of identifying bodies of MPs and Headquarters troops, killed 
in the Task Force Drysdale battle, which were to be picked up later. 
Attempts to start the looted and abandoned vehicles met with no suc- 
cess and the convoy continued the movement to Koto-ri without incident, 
arriving about 1000 on the 7th. 

At this hour the last Marine troops had not yet left Hagaru, so that 
the column as a whole extended the entire 11 miles of the route. Divi- 
sion Train No. 2 had formed up during the afternoon of the 6tb, but 
was unable to start until after dark. At midnight the train had moved 
only a short distance out of Hagaru. Lieutenant Colonel Mime re- 
quested infantry support and 3/5 was given the mission of advancing 
at the head of the column, along with the 5th Marines regimental train, 
to eliminate enemy resistance, 3 * Taplett had only two companies, one 
of which proceeded astride the road while the other echeloned to the 
left rear. The late start proved to be a blessing, since Division Train 
No. 2 completed most of its movement by daylight under an umbrella 
of Marine air and met only light and scattered resistance. The head 
of the column reached Koto-ri at 1700, and at 2300 all of the major 
Division units were in the perimeter except 2/5, the rear guard. 38 

Both 1/5 and 3/1 had formed up in Hagaru on the morning of the 
7th and moved out as rapidly as traffic would permit, which was slow 
indeed. They were accompanied by the 4 1st Commando, which had 
earned the esteem of all U.'S. Marines by valor in combat. British 
imperturbability was at its best when Lieutenant Colonel Drysdale held 
an inspection shortly before departing Hagaru. Disdainful of the scat- 
tered shots which were still being heard, the officers moved up and down 
the rigid lines, and men whose gear was not in the best possible shape 
were reprimanded. 

By 1000 nobody was left in the battered town except Roise's battalion, 
First Lieutenant Vaughan R. Stuart's tank platoon and elements of 
Able Company, 1st Engineer Battalion, commanded by Captain William 
R. Gould. This unit and CWO Willie S. Harrison's Explosive Ord- 
nance Section of Headquarters Company engineers were attached to 

the 5th Marines for the mission of the demolitions at Hagaru. 88 

" Col J. L. Stewart Comments, n. d, 

" The description of the operations of the 5th Marines and 3/ 1 are based on : 3/5 SARi 
17; 3/1, SAR, 26 Nov-15 Dec 50, 7; 5th Mar SAR, 32-34; 1/5 SAR, 18-19; 2/5 SAR, 
29-30, 37. 

"Descriptions of the operations of the engineers at Hagaru are based on these sources: 
1st Engr Bn SAR, 13 ; Partridge interv, 25 Jun 51, 50; Narrative of Capt N. A. Canzona, 
13 Jul 56. 

Regroupment at Hagaru 301 

Gould had formed five demolitions teams, each composed of an offi- 
cer and four to six men. On the evening of 6 December they began 
preparations for burning stockpiles of surplus clothing and equipment 
along with the buildings of the Hagaru train yard. There was also 
the duty of placing charges in the dumps of mortar and artillery ammu- 
nition which could not be transported to Hagaru. 

One of the main problems was the disposal of a small mountain of 
frozen surplus rations. A team of engineers spent hours on the 6th 
a t the task of smashing cans and crates of food with a bulldozer and 
saturating the dump with fuel oil. 

The Able Company engineers came under the operational control of 
jjje 2d Battalion after the other units of the 5th Marines departed. 
Demolitions were to await the order of Lieutenant Colonel Roise on the 
^orning of the 7th. Hagaru was full of combustibles, however, and 
fif es of mysterious origin sent up dense clouds of smoke before the 
engineers touched off the oil-soaked food supplies and the buildings of 
tri e train yard. 

As the Marines of 2/5 pulled back toward the southern tip of East 
"ill, smoke blotted out the surrounding area so that enemy movements 
could not be detected. Worse yet, premature explosions sent up foun- 
tains of debris just as the engineers were setting up their fuses for a 
20-minute delay. Detonations shook the earth on all sides. Rockets 
s 'iced through the air, shells shattered into vicious fragments, and large 
chunks of real estate rained down everywhere. Roise was understand- 
ably furious, since his troops were endangered during their withdrawal. 
°Y a miracle they came off East Hill without any casualties, and the 
etl gmeers were the last Marines left in Hagaru. Soon the entire base 
kerned to be erupting like a volcano. Visibility was reduced to zero 
^he n the engineers pulled out, after setting a last tremendous charge 
to blow the bridge. 

So compelling was the lure of loot that small groups of Chinese came 
down from the high ground toward the man-made hell of flame and 
e *pIosions. Between clouds of smoke they could be seen picking over 
he debris, and the Marine tanks cranked off a few rounds at targets 
of opportunity. 

^ is not likely that any of Roise's weary troops paused for a last 
Se ntimental look over their shoulders at the dying Korean town. Hagaru 
not exactly a pleasure resort, and yet hundreds of Marines and 
s °tdiers owed their lives to the - 

302 The C 

the Division to evacuate all casualties and fly in replacements while 
regrouping for the breakout to the seacoast. 

If it had not been for the forethought of the Division and Wing 
commanders, with the concurrence of General Almond, there would 
have been no R4D airstrip, no stockpiles of ammunition, rations an" 
medical supplies. And though the Marines might conceivably ha« 
fought their way out of the CCF encirclement without a Hagaru, $ 
would have been at the cost of abandoning much equipment and suffer- 
ing much higher casualties. 

Only a few weeks before, this Korean town had been merely an un- 
known dot on the map. But on 7 December 1950 the name was f amili< l( 
to newspaper readers and radio listeners all over the United States a s 
they anxiously awaited tidings of the breakout. Already it had becoa* 
a name to be remembered in U. S, Marine annals along with such his- 
torical landmarks as Belleau Wood, Guadalcanal, Peleliu and Iwo Jim! 1 - 

Prospects of a warm meal and a night's sleep meant more than history 
to Roise's troops when the column moved out at last shortly afternoon- 
with the engineers bringing up the rear to blow bridges along the roufr 
A pitiful horde of Korean refugees followed the troops — thousands 
men, women and children with such personal belongings as they coul" 
carry. Efforts on the part of the engineers to warn the refugees of im- 
pending demolitions were futile. Although these North Koreans ha<* 
enjoyed for five years the "blessings" of Communist government, th s 
prospect of being left behind to the tender mercies of the Chinese Cop* 
munists was so terrifying that they took appalling risks. Knowing th* [ 
a bridge was about to blow up at any instant, they swarmed across in } 
blind panic of flight. Never did war seem more harsh or its victim* 
more pathetic. 31 

The rear guard had less air and artillery support than any of tli £ 
preceding troops, yet CCF opposition was confined to scattered smal 1 ' 
arms fire all the way to Hell Fire Valley, There the enemy lobbed tm 
a few mortar shells during a long halt at dusk, but the rest of thj 
advance was uneventful. Gould's engineers took chances repeatedly o l 
being cut off when they fell behind to burn abandoned vehicles or bio 11 
bridges. On several occasions a small group found itself entirely (S@j 
la ted as the infantry and even the refugees pushed on ahead. Lucid'? 
the engineers made it without any casualties, and by midnight the l^ ! 
troops of the 1st Marine Division had entered the perimeter at Koto-fi' 

"Sexton interv, 16 May 51. 

Regroupmetil at Hagaru 


Thus the first stage of the Division breakout came to a close. In pro- 
portion to total numbers, the service troops of Division Train No. 1 
had taken the heaviest losses — six killed and 12 wounded for the Divi- 
sion Headquarters Company; one killed and 36 wounded for the Mili- 
ary Police Company; four killed and 28 wounded for the 1st Motor 
Transport Battalion; one killed and 27 wounded for the 1st Ordnance 
Battalion; and diree killed and 34 wounded for the 3d Battalion of the 
Hth Marines. Battle casualties for the entire 1st Marine Division, in- 
cluding H n n Se of the East Hill battle, were as follows: 







7 Dec 













"Div Adjutant EAR, Appendix II, 3. 

About 38 hours were required for the movement of some 10,000 
troops and more than 1,000 vehicles. The new arrivals filled the per- 
"neter at Koto-ri to the bursting point, but there was to be no pause 
a * this point. Division OpnO 26-50, issued at 1815 on the 7th, before 
toe last troops had arrived, provided for the advance to be resumed 
rotn Koto-ri at first light the following morning. 




Onward from Koto-ri 

Assembly of Division at Koto-ri — Activation of Task Force Dog 
■ Air Drop of Bridge Sections — Division Planning for Attack 
~~Battle of i/i in the Snowstorm — Advance of RCT—j and 
#CT-j — Marine Operations of 9 and 10 December — Comple- 
tion 1 

THE progress OF the 1st Marine Division breakout depended in no 
small degree on the reliable communications provided by the divi- 
s 'on radio relay linking up Hagaru, Koto-ri, Chinhung-ni, and Hung- 
n am. At 1440 on 6 December the vehicles of the Hagaru relay terminal 
Joined Division Train No. 1, whereupon the station at Koto-ri became 
m turn the terminal. 1 

This station was located on the highest point of ground just south 
°f the Koto-ri perimeter. And though it was outside the defense area, 
Jhe Chinese did not bother it until the Marines were breaking camp. 
"ien the opposition consisted only of harassing small-arms fires in- 
stead of the attack which might have been expected. 2 
_ In fact, the enemy did not launch another large-scale assault on Koto- 
rt after his costly repulse on the night of 28-29 November. Although 
the perimeter was surrounded throughout the first six days of Decem- 
° er > incipient CCF attacks were broken up in the enemy's assembly 
are as. Excellent observation as well as casualty evacuation was pro- 
vided by the OYs taking off from the Koto-ri airstrip. They were the 
9** of an impressive array of Marine fire power- — tanks, 4.2-inch, and 
8 1mm mortars as well as aircraft and Captain McClelland 's Easy Bat- 
ter y of 2/11. 

\ Smith, Notes, 1056. 
C°I A. Sutter interv, 8 Aug 55; Battle? Itr, 7 Feb 36. 


The Chosin Reservoir Campaign 

"The artillery 105's and the mortars did a grand job," commented 
Major Bartley. "They were always available, shifted their fires quickly 
and accurately, and serviced their pieces amazingly well in the cold 
weather." 3 

As a further asset, the Koto-ri perimeter was defended by adequate 
numbers in comparison to Hagaru during the first critical week of CCF 
attacks. On 30 November, when Baker Company of the 1st Tank 
Battalion returned to Koto-ri after the Task Force Drysdale battle, three 
platoons of tanks were added to the Dog Company platoon already at- 
tached to 2/1. The next day Colonel Puller's RCT-1 (-) was further 
strengthened by the arrival of the 2d Battalion of the 31st Infantry, 
7th Infantry Division, the last unit to reach Koto-ri from the south. 
These Army troops had been ordered to Hagaru, but owing to die 
changing situation they were directed by X Corps on 1 December to 
remain at Koto-ri. Under the operational control of Colonel Puller, 
2/31 took over a sector at the southern end of the perimeter. 

Sporadic CCF small-arms fire was received on each of the first six 
days of December, and enemy troop movements were observed at all 
points of the compass. On several occasions a few mortar shells were 
lobbed into the perimeter. Not a single Marine casualty was suffered 
during the period,* though CCF losses were estimated at 646 killed 
and 322 wounded. 

Daily air drops were required to keep the perimeter supplied with 
ammunition, rations, and other essentials. Captain Norman Vining, the 
Battalion FAC, who had once been a carrier landing signal officer, 
guided planes to satisfactory drop zones with makeshift paddles. One 
day a case of .30 caliber cartridges broke free from its chute and 
hurtled through the top of Lieutenant Colonel Sutter's tent during a 
conference. Narrowly missing several officers, it hit the straw at their 
feet and bounced high into the air before landing on a crate used as a 

Assembly of Division at Koto-ri 

Koto-ri being second only to Hagaru as an advance base, Colonel Puller 
at times had responsibilities which are usually shouldered by an ADC 

1 Bartley ltr, 7 Feb 56, This section is also based on IstMar SAR, 18-24, and the 2/1 
SAR, 15-18. 

'Not so fortunate was 2/31, which lost 5 KIA and 10 WIA expanding the perimetcf 
to the south on 3 Dec, CO IstMar msg to CG IstMarDiv, 1850 3 Dec 50. 

Onward from Koto-ri 307 

On 29 November he had been the organizer of Task Force Drysdale, 
a "d on 6 December tt became his task to make ready for the reception 
of" the 10,000 troops from Hagaru. 

Although the Koto-ri perimeter was already overcrowded, Puller 
directed that hot food and warming tents be provided for all Hagaru 
troops upon arrival. More than 14,000 men would then be organized 
for the next stage of the breakout. Strength estimates were as follows: 5 

Marine garrison at Koto-ri 2,640 

U. S, Army unjts at Koto-ri 1,535 

Koyal Marine Commandos at Koto-ri 25 

Marines arriving from Hagaru 9,0 

U O O ' , t 

. ■ a- Army troops arriving from Hagaru 818 

Royal Marine Commandos arriving from Hagam 125 

ROK police attached to RCT-5 40 


fuller dealt with the problem of casualty evacuation at Koto-ri by 
ordering that the OY strip be lengthened so that larger aircraft could 
J and. The engineers of Charlie Company started the job on 6 December, 
*w progress speeded up as the Dog Company engineers arrived next 
'toy from Hagaru with their heavy equipment. 

The strip had been widened by 40 feet and extended by 300 on 7 
December when the first TBM landed. These pi anes had been bor- 
rowed from the Navy and IstMAW administrative flight lines and 
Signed to VMO-6. They could fly out several litter patients and as 
^ af iy as nine ambulatory cases. Captain Alfred F. McCaleb, Jr., of 
VMO-6 and First Lieutenant Truman Clark of VMF(N)-513, evacu- 
ated a total of 103 casualties. The carrier landing training of the 
Marines stood them in good stead as Captain Malcolm G, Moncrief, Jr., 
Qualified landing signal officer of VMF-312, directed the TBMs to 
«*Sr landings at Koto-ri with paddles. 8 

The clearing station established at Koto-ri by Company D of the 1st 
^dical Battalion (Lieutenant Commander Gustave T, Anderson 
(,MC) , USN had a normal bed capacity of only 6*0 but somehow con- 
J? Ue d to handle a total of 832 cases, including non-battle casualties, 
he Company D medics were assisted during their last few days at 
^o^rUy Captain Hering, the Division surgeon, and Commander 

\ Smith, notes, 1069-1071. 
21' " er Deck," Leatherneck Magazine, xxxiv, no. 5 (Mar 51), 19-20; IstMar SAR, 
, 'J/} SAR, 17-18; IstEngrBn SAR, 13; IstMedBn SAR, 12; and SAR, 17-18 ; 

stMAw" SAR, 7; BrigGen E. C, Dyer Comments, n, d. 

308 The Chosin Reservoir Campaign 

Howard A. Johnson (MC) , USN, the CO of the 1st Medical Battalion. 
Captain Richard S. Silvis (MC) , USN, surgeon of the 2d Marine Divi- 
sion, on temporary duty in Korea as an observer, also took an active 
part. 7 

Surgical assistance was welcomed by the Company D medics, since 
operations at Koto-ri were performed under the most difficult conditions. 
Only tents being available for patients, the hundreds of casualties 
brought from Hagaru added to the necessity for speedy evacuation' 
About 200 cases were flown out on the 7 th by TBMs and liaison aircraft. 
By the following morning the engineers had lengthened the OY strip 
to 1750 feet, but a heavy snowfall put an end to nearly all air activity 
In spite of the risks involved, one Air Force C-47 did get through to 
Koto-ri, where it could be heard but not seen while circling blindly 
about the perimeter. By a miracle the plane landed safely and took off 
with 19 casualties. The following day saw air evacuation of casualties 
in full swing, with about 225 being flown out to clear the hospital tents 
of all serious cases. 8 

Activation of Task Force Dog 

A large tent in the middle of the perimeter served both as office afi^ 
sleeping quarters for General Smith and his staff. Planning was M 
mediately resumed after they arrived at Koto-ri on the afternoon of 
6 December. Before leaving Hagaru it had been recognized that th c 
enemy might be saving his main effort for the mountainous ten-mil f 
stretch from Koto-ri to Chinhung-ni, In such terrain a mere CCF g*8 
toon could do a great deal of mischief, and the planners agreed thaf 
it would be necessary for 1/1 to attack northward from Chinhung-n 1 
and clear the road. This meant that the battalion must be relieved 
an Army unit, and a request was made verbally to General Almond; 

X Corps had received orders on 1 December for the 3d Infantry Divi- 
sion to assemble in the Wonsan area prepared for further operations' 
possibly to join the Eighth Army in west Korea. Although General 
Almond initiated execution of the order immediately, he sent the highes' 
ranking Marine officer on his staff, Colonel Forney, and the Corps G-2: 
Lieutenant Colonel William W. Quinn, to Tokyo to explain the imptf' 

• lstMedBn SAR, 3-7. 

*lbid. See also Smith, Notes, 995-998, 1110-1112. 
'Smith, Notts, 1063-1064. 

cations of the withdrawal of this Army division from northeast Korea. 
Following a conference with General Hickey, GHQ Chief of Staff, the 
division was released back to X Corps on the 3d, and General Almond 
ordered it to return to the Hamhung area to protect this vital port area 
a "d to assist the breakout of the 1st Marine Division by relieving 1/1 
at Chinhung-ni, 10 

At 2115 on 6 December the 1st Marine Division requested by dispatch 
that the relief be completed the next day in order to free 1/1 for the 
attack to the north. The relief column, designated Task Force Dog and 
commanded by Brigadier General Armistead D. Mead, ADC of the 3d 
Infantry Division, consisted of the 3d Battalion, 7th Infantry, the 92d 
Armored Field Artillery Battalion, plus detachments of engineers, 
Sl gnalmen, and anriaircraft troops. Brushing aside some Chinese road- 
blocks, it arrived at Chinhung-ni on the afternoon of the 7th and 
relieved 1/1 immediately. 11 

Air Drop of Bridge Sections 

Another problem which the 1st Marine Division planners had faced at 
Hagaru called for an engineering solution, As early as 4 December 
commanding general was notified that a critical bridge three and a 
half miles south of Koto-ri (see Map 29) had been blown by the enemy 
*j3t the third time. At this point water from the Chosin Reservoir was 
discharged from a tunnel into four penstocks, or large steel pipes, which 
descended sharply down the mountainside to the turbines of the power 
plant in the valley below. Where the pipes crossed the road, they were 
covered on the uphill side by a concrete gatehouse, without a floor. On 
the downhill side was the one-way bridge over the penstocks which the 
ei *emy had thrice destroyed. Between the cliff and the sheer drop down 
I the mountainside there was no possibility of a bypass. Thus the gap 
! °f 16 feet (24 feet, counting the abutments) must be spanned if the 

Division was to hrin* *** vdhrfefe* tanks and «tti«t*» 

„X Corps Special Report, Cbvlhi Reservoir, 17-18; Forney, Special Report, 3. 
r Smith, Notes, 1063-1064; X Corps Special Report, Chosin Reservoir, 20-24; X 
^-Ofps 01 26, 5 Dec 50 ; and Dokater, 3d Infantry Division in Korea, 90 ; CG IstMarDiv 
?]« to CG X Corps, 2115 6 Dec 50; CG X Corps msg X 13811, 7 Dec 50; Col D. M. 
^chuiucj. comments, n. d. 

p Except when otherwise specified, this section is based on the following sources: 
c5 l " d Se interv, 25 Jun 51, 48-65; Litzenbcrg interv, 27-30 Apt and 15 Jul 51, 72-73; 
Notes, 1057 r 1059, 1075, 1095-1109; lstEngBn SAR, 3-14; Geer, the New Breed, 

362, 369; LtCol J. H. Pa 

: Comments, a. d. 

Onward from Koto-ri 311 

had blown a temporary wooden structure and an M-2 steel treadway 
s pan installed by Army engineers. No prefabricated bridging was avail- 
able at Hagaru, and time did not permit the construction of a timber 
trestle bridge. The possibility of Bailey bridge sections was considered 
but rejected for technical reasons. Finally, after a detailed study of the 
break from the air on 6 December, Lieutenant Colonel Partridge esti- 
mated that four sections of an M-2 steel treadway bridge would be re- 
quired. Prospects did not appear bright when a bridge section was 
badly damaged on the 6th after being test-dropped at Yonpo by an 
Air Force C-U9. Nevertheless, it was decided to go ahead the next 
day with the drop at Koto-ri. 13 

There were four U. S. Army treadway bridge (Brockway) trucks at 
Koto-ri, two of which were operative. After conferring with First 
Lieutenant George A. Babe of the 1st Engineer Battalion and Colonel 
Hugh D. McGaw of the 185th Engineer (C) Battalion, USA, Partridge 
decided to request a drop of eight sections in order to have a 100% 
margin of safety in case of damage. 

After analyzing the causes of the unsuccessful test drop, Captain 
olasingame of the Air Delivery Platoon had larger parachutes flown 
to Yonpo from Japan, accompanied by Captain Cecil W. Hospelhorn, 
USA, and a special crew of Army parachute riggers, Blasingame and 
a bundred-man work detail from the 1st Amphibian Tractor Battalion 
forked all night at Yonpo to make ready for the drop next day by 
ei fiht C-119s of the Air Force. 

At 0930 on 7 December three of the 2500-pound bridge sections 
w ete dropped inside the Koto-ri perimeter and recovered by the Brock- 
way trucks. The remaining five sections were delivered by noon, one 
°f them falling into the hands of the Chinese and one being damaged. 

Plywood center sections were also dropped so that the bridge could 
ac commodate any type of Marine wheel or tracked vehicle. Thus the 
tanks could cross on the metal spans only, while the trucks could man- 
age with one wheel on the metal span and the other on the plywood 
tenter. 14 

All the necessary equipment having been assembled at Koto-ri by the 
'ate afternoon of the 7th, the next problem was to transport it three and 
3 balf miles to the bridge site. Colonel Bowser, the Division G— 3, 

"Smith, Notes, 1057-1059, 1075, 1095-1097; Partridge ioterv, 25 Jim 51, 48-53; 
'stEnfiBo SAR, 13-14. 

„ Partridge interv 25 Jua 51, 48-55; Capt C. W. Hospelhorn, "Aerial Supply in Korea," 
^mbat p orcej j 0U rnal, I, no. 10 (May 51), 29-30. 

3 1 2 The Chosin Reservoir Cam paign 

directed the engineers to coordinate their movements with the progress 
made by RCT-7 the following morning. Lieutenant Colonel Partridge 
attended a briefing conducted by Colonel Litzenberg on the eve of the 
assault, and it was agreed that the trucks with the bridge section woulJ 
accompany the regimental train. First Lieutenant Ewald D. Vom Orde's 
First Platoon of Company D engineers was designated as the escort. 
First Lieutenant Charles C. Ward's engineers led the 7th Marines 
trains. Both platoons were assigned the task of installing the bridge 

Division Planning for Attack 

On the assumption that the gap over the penstocks would be success- 
fully spanned, the 1st Marine Division issued OpnO 26-50 at 1850 on 
7 December. Although the last operation order had specified the Ham- 
hung area as the objective, it was found necessary at Koto-ri to give 
more explicit instructions for the advance to the southward. 

The plan was simple. Recognizing the sharp cleft of Funchilin Pass 
as the most difficult defile of the entire breakout, General Smith ordered 
the seizure of the heights overlooking the pass from the north end of 
Hill 1081, dominating the road through the pass. In its details the 
plan shaped up as follows: 

(1) RCT-7 (reinforced with the Provisional Army battalion) to attsck 
south from Koto-ri at 0800 on 8 December and seize Objectives A and B-~- 
the first being the southern extension of Hill 1328, about 2500 yards south- 
west of Koto-ri, and the other the second nose due south of Koto-ri. 

(2) RCT-5 to attack and seize Objective D (Hill 1457, two and a half 
miles south of Koto-ri) while RCT-7 continued its attack and seized Objec- 
tive C (a nose dominating the MSR two and three- fourths miles south of 

(3) At 0800, as RCT— 7 jumped off at Koto-ri, the 1st Battalion of RCT-1 
was to attack from Chinhung-ni and seize Objective E (Hill 1081, three 
miles to the north) . 

(4) RCT-1 (less the 1st Battalion but reinforced by 2/31) was to pro- 
tect Koto-ri until the Division and regimental trains cleared, whereupon > l 
was to relieve RCTs 5 and 7 on Objectives A, B, C and D. 

(5) Upon relief by RCT-1, RCTs 5 and 7 were to proceed south along 
the MSR to the Hamhung area. 

(6) RCT-1 was to follow RCT-5 and protect the Division rear." 

a IstMarDtv OpnO 26-30, 7 Dec 50. The task organ ization remained as it was during 
the move from Hagaru to Koto-ri. For the regimental orders, see lstMar OpnO 16~-5Q> 
1 Dec 50; 5thMar OpnO 44-50, 7 Dec 50; and 7thMar Frag 0„7 Dec 50. Oth# 
sources for this section arc: llthMar SAR, 9; and Smith, Notes, 1062. 

Onward from Koto-ri 313 

Artillery plans provided for one battery of 2/11 and one of 3/n to 
answer the calls of RCT-7 for supporting fires. The other batteries of 
VH were to move south with the motor column while two batteries 
°f 1/11 supported RCT-5. The remaining battery of 3/11 was at- 
tached to 2/11 with a mission of moving south to Chinhung-ni and 
taking a position from which to support the withdrawal of RCT-1 as 
r ear-guard. Easy Battery of 2/1 1, left behind at Koto-ri, was laid to fire 
to the north and west, while Fox Battery of 2/11 and the 92d Armored 
rield Artillery Battalion at Chinhung-ni supported the attack of 1/1 
°« Hill 1081. 

The plan of the IstMAW for air support was essentially the same 
as the one which proved so effective during the advance from Hagaru 
t0 Koto-ri. 

An object lesson of that movement had been the personnel and equip- 
ment losses suffered by the Division trains as a consequence of a late 
start. The pla nners were determined not to repeat this mistake. As a 
hrther precautionary measure, General Smith directed that the tanks 
f°rm the last elements of the motor column. 10 Thus in the event of a 
breakdown on the twisting, single-lane road, it would not be necessary 
to abandon all the vehicles behind a crippled tank. 

As for the enemy situation, G-2 summaries indicated that early in 
jJecember the CCF 26th Corps, consisting of the 76th, 77th and 78 th 
^'visions, reinforced by the 94th Division of the 32d Corps, had moved 
«°wn from the north and taken positions on the east side of the MSR 
between Hagaru and Koto-ri. There they relieved the 60th Division, 
^hich moved into the area south of Koto-ri. The 76th and 77th Divi- 
s<ons occupied positions along the MSR in the Koto-ri area, while the 
?8th and 94th Divisions were apparently held in reserve. Elements of 
Jbe 89th Division, operating from the mountainous area southwest of 
^oto-ri, conducted harassing operations against the MSR in the vicinity 
°f Chinhung-ni as well as Koto-ri. 

The 60th CCF Division held prepared positions on the high ground 
^uth of Koto-ri commanding Funchilin Pass and the MSR leading to 
Uiinhung-ni. That these positions included Hill 1081, the dominating 
errain feature, was revealed by prisoners taken in the vicinity by patrols 
^th e 1st B attalion, 1st Marines, prior to 8 December. 

"CG IstMatDiv msg to COs 1st, 5th, 7th Mars, IstTkBn, 1100 8 Dec 50. 


The Cboshi Reservoir Campaign 

Battle of i/i in the Snowstorm 

Division plans had not called for the swirling snowstorm which re- 
duced visibility to 50 feet and precluded air support at first light on 
8 December. In spite of weather conditions, the assault battalions of 
RCT-7 moved out from Koto-ri on schedule after 1/1 attacked north- 
ward from Chinhung-ni. 

The planners had realized that the success of the movement to Chin- 
hung-ni would depend to a large extent on the seizure of Objective B— - 
Hill 1081. On 2 December Lieutenant Colonel Schmuck had led a 
reconnaissance patrol into Funchilin Pass as far north as this position. 
Sighting large numbers of Chinese on both sides of the road, he called 
for artillery fires with good effect. This reconnaissance did much to 
establish Hill 1081 as the key terrain feature. 

Although 1/1 had patrolled aggressively, the battalion had engaged 
in no large-scale actions so far in the Reservoir campaign. The men 
were fresh, well-rested and spoiling for a fight when they moved out 
at 0200 on 8 December from an assembly area south of Chinhung-ni 
after being relieved by Task Force Dog, 

Schmuck' s battle plan provided for the three companies to advance 
in column along the MSR in the pre-dawn darkness. Since orders were 
to attack at 0800, a start at 0200 was considered necessary in order to 
make the six-mile approach march, 

Captain Wray's Charlie Company, in the lead, was to take Objective 
1, the southwestern nose of Hill 1081, and hold it while the other two 
companies passed through to carry out their missions. Captain Ear- 
row's Able Company was to attack east of the MSR and fight its way 
to the summit of Hill 1081; and Captain Noren's Baker Company to 
advance to the left flank, along the slopes between Barrow and the 
MSR. 17 

The combination of snow and darkness reduced visibility almost to 
zero as 1/1 set out along the slippery MSR five hours before daybreak. 
All heavy equipment had been sent to the rear from Chinhung-ni, and 
the only vehicles were two ambulances and a radio jeep. 

In the snow-muffled silence of the night the men took on protective 

"This section, except when otherwise noted, is derived from the following sources: 
Ibid.; lslMar SAR, 19-20, 24-26; IstMar URpt (S-3) 13; Bates interv, 16 Mar 53, 
108-112, Geer, The New Breed, 36-4-368: Col D. M. Schmuck, LtCol D. W. Bridges, 
LtCol W. L. Bates interv, 8 Aug 56; special mention should also be made of the two-part 
article, "Last Barrier," by S. L. A. Marshall in the Marine Corps Gazette, xxvii, no. 1 
(Jan 53), 20-23, and no, 2 (Feb 53), 40-46; LtCol D. W. Bridges interv, 14 Dec 56. 

Onward from Koto-ri 


coloring as feathery flakes dung to their parkas. Objective 1 was seized 
shortly after dawn, following a difficult approach march against neg- 
ligible resistance. The battalion commander prepared for the next 
phase by bringing up 81mm mortars and an attached platoon of 4.2s and 
emplacing those weapons in Wray's position. He also directed that 
the five attached Army self-propelled quad-. 50 caliber and twin 40mm 
guns of B Company 50th AAA (AW)Bn be moved to a little rise 
off to the left of the road in the vicinity of rhe village of Pehujang. 


At 1000 the main attack was set in motion. Baker Company advanced 
along the wooded western slope of Hill 1081 as Barrow attacked up the 
hogback ridge leading to the summit. The snowstorm fought on the 
side of the Marines by hiding their movements from the Chinese oc- 
cupying the high ground east of the MSR around the great horseshoe 
bend where the road passed under the cable car line. 

Noien's men saw hundreds of enemy footprints but met only scat- 
tered opposition until they came to the first CCF roadblock on their 
left flank. There they were stopped by two machine guns, but a Ma- 
rine patrol worked around on the uphill side and routed the Commu- 
nists with a machine gun and 60mm mortar attack. 

In the absence of air and artillery support, the 4,2s and 81mm mor- 
tars emplaced in the Charlie Company position were called upon when- 
ever visibility permitted. Surprise was Noren's best resource, however, 
^hen Baker Company came up against the CCF bunker complex on the 
western slope of Hill 1081. The enemy had so little warning that the 
Marines found a kettle of rice cooking in the largest bunker, an elaborate 
l°g and sandbag structure which had evidently been a CCF command 
post. The entire complex was taken after a brief but savage fight in 
which all defenders were killed or routed. Schmuck set up his CP in a 
captured bunker, where he and his officers soon discovered that several 
re giments of Chinese lice had not yet surrendered. 

Only enough daylight was left for the sending out of patrols, where- 
upon Noren secured for the night. His losses amounted to three killed 
and six wounded. 

Barrow's men had no physical contact with Baker Company while 
clawing their way upward along an icy ridge line too narrow for de- 
ployment. A sudden break in the snow afforded the Able Company 
commander a glimpse of a CCF stronghold on a knob between him and 

his objective, the topographical crest of Hill 1081. The drifting flakes 
cut off the view before he could direct mortar fire, but Barrow decided 
to attack without this support and rely upon surprise. Advancing in 
column along the steep and narrow approach, he sent Lieutenant Jones 
with two squads of the 2d Platoon to execute a wide enveloping 
movement on the left. Lieutenant McClelland's 1st Platoon had a 
similar mission on the right. Barrow himself led Staff Sergeant William 
Roach's 3d Platoon in a front attack. 

It took more than an hour for the two flanking forces to get into 
position. Not until they had worked well around the Chinese bunker 
complex did Barrow give the signal for attack. Perhaps because silence 
had been enforced during the stealthy advance, the assault troops yelled 
like Indians as they closed in on the foe. Out of the snowstorm Bar- 
row's men "erupted with maximum violence," and the enemy was too 
stunned to put up much of a fight. The only effective resistance came 
from a single CCF machine gun which caused most of the Marine 
casualties before Corporal Joseph Leeds and his fire team knocked it 
out, killing nine Communists in the process. 

More than 60 enemy bodies were counted after the Marines cleaned 
out the bunkers and shot down fleeing Chinese. Barrow's losses were 
10 men killed and 11 wounded. 

By this time it was apparent that the Chinese had held an integrated 
system of bunkers and strong points extending to the summit of Hill 
1081. The battalion had been strictly on its own all day, all contact 
with the infantry of Task Force Dog having ended with the relief. 
When communications permitted, however, 1/1 could count on the 
excellent direct support of the 92d Armored Field Artillery Battalion, 
USA, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Leon F. Lavoie. The Army 
cannoneers had set up near Fox Battery of 2/11, using the fire control 
data of this Marine artillery unit. 

The night was clear, promising air and artillery support in the morn- 
ing, as Able Company consolidated in the captured CCF positions. 
Although the battalion aid station was only 700 yards away, the ter- 
rain was so difficult that litter bearers took several hours to struggle 
down with the Marine wounded. About midnight the Chinese inter- 
rupted with an attack in estimated platoon strength, but Barrow's men 
drove them off with CCF losses of 18 killed. 

The rest of the night passed quietly, and Baker Company had no 
disturbance on the high ground overlooking the MSR. 

Onward from Koto-ri 


Advance of RCT-j and RCT-5 

While these events were taking place, the attack to the south from 
Koto-ri also fell short of the day's objectives, Colonel Litzenberg' s plan 
called for two of his four battalions (the fourth being the Provisional 
Battalion of Army troops) to clear the high ground on either side of the 
road so that a third battalion could advance astride die MSR, followed 
by the reserve battalion and regimental train. 

Major Morris, commanding 3/7, had been assigned die task of at- 
tacking on the right at 0800 and seizing Objective A, the southernmost 
°f the cluster of hills known collectively as Hill 1328. He made such 
slow progress against CCF and small -arms fire that at 1100 Colonel 
Litzenberg suggested the commitments of 3/7 's reserve company. "All 
three companies," replied Morris, "are up there — fifty men from 
George, fifty men from How, thirty men from Item. That's it!" 18 

Early in the afternoon of 8 December, Litzenberg committed his- re- 
serve, 2/7, to assist 3/7. Lockwood's battalion was on the road south 
°f 3/7 and attacked west in an attempt to get in the rear of the enemy 
holding up 3/7. Easy and Fox Companies attacked abreast and by 
tSOO the two battalions had joined on the nordieastern slopes of the 
objective. In view of the approaching darkness, however, the attack 
^as postponed until morning, and the troops consolidated for the night 
short of the objective, which was seized the following morning. 

Litzenberg's plan for the seizure of the heights overlooking the 
Northern entrance to Funchilin Pass provided for the Army Provisional 
Battalion to take Objective B. The soldiers jumped off at 0800, on 
the left of the MSR, supported by two tanks of the 5 th Marines AT 
Company. By 0900 the battalion had secured its objective without 
Meeting any resistance. Litzenberg then ordered a further advance of 
800 yards to the northwestern tip of Hill 1457. At 1330 the Army 
troops secured their second objective, still without resistance and tied 
In with 1/5 for the night. 10 

Lieutenant Colonel Davis having become regimental executive officer 
ar *ter Dowsett was wounded, Major Sawyer took over command of 
V?. His plan called for the battalion to advance about 2000 yards down 
the road and wait for 3/7 to come up on his right flank. Then the two 
bat talions w ould move along together. 

"Utzenberg interv, 27-30 Apr and 10 Jul 51, 68-69. 
, FSCC tcl to G-3, X Corps, 1245 S Dec 50 in G-J Journal; X Corps CR, 8 Dec 50; 
t-FF~ 7 VR P* 6 >' TthMar SAR, 25; 3/7 SAR, n. p.; MajGen H. L. litzenberg Comments, 
17 Nov 56; LtCol W. Morris Comments, 15 Oct 56. 


The Chosin Reservoir Campaign 

The 1st Battalion jumped off at 0800 and reached its phase line 
without opposition. First Lieutenant Bobbie B. Bradley's platoon ad- 
vanced down the road to gain contact with the Chinese while the re- 
mainder of the battalion halted. When 2/7 began its attack in support 
of 3/7, Sawyer's battalion moved out. Bradley's patrol having run into 
opposition from the northern reaches o£ Hill 1304, Companies A and 
C moved west of the MSR in a double envelopment of the enemy posi- 
tion. Company B continued the advance towards Objective C, meeting 
a heavy cross fire from Chinese to their front and on Hill 1304, Lieu- 
tenant Kurcaba was killed and Lieutenants Chew Een Lee and Joseph R. 
Owen wounded. First Lieutenant William W. Taylor took command 
and managed to clear the enemy from his front just before dusk. 

Able and Charlie Companies faced less resistance in overrunning 
the foxholes and two bunkers on Hid 1304. With dusk falling, Sawyer 
did not attempt a further advance. Able and Charlie Companies dug 
in on Hill 1304 while Baker set up a perimeter slightly short of Ob- 
jective C, The first serials of the truck convoy had moved closely on 
the heels of 1/7 and had to be backed up to a level area near Objective 
A. There they formed a perimeter reinforced with H&S and Weapons 
Companies of 1/7. 20 

Division OpnO 26-50 had directed Lieutenant Colonel Murray's 
RCT-5 to await orders before attacking Objective D. It was nearly 
noon on the 8th before the 1st Battalion, in assault, was directed to 
move out from Koto-ri. 

Lieutenant Colonel Stevens followed the MSR for a mile, then sent 
two companies out to the left to occupy the objective, Hill 1457. Baker 
Company seized the intervening high ground and set up to cover the 
attack of Charlie Company up die slopes of the ridge leading to the 
objective. Charlie Company fell in with a patrol from the Army Pro- 
visional Battalion attached to the RCT-7, and the two combined forces 
to drive the enemy off the high ground about 1550. A weak Chinese 
counterattack was easily repulsed, and at 1700 as darkness fell Baker 
and Charlie Companies tied in with the Army troops while Able Com- 
pany formed its own perimeter overlooking the MSR. In reserve, the 
41st Commando moved into the high ground behind 1/5 to guard 
against infiltration. 81 

35 7thMar SAR, 25 ; RCT-7 6; CO 1/7 msg to CO 7tliMar, 13<il S Dec 50; Geer, ! 
The New Breed, 362-363. LtCol W. D. Sawyer Comments, 26 Oct 56. 

a 1/5 SAR, 19; S-3 5thMar tel to G-3 IstMarDiv, 1800 8 Dec 50; Maj Stewart tel 
to CO 5thMar, 1940 8 Dec 50; SthMar SAR, 34; Smith. Notes, 1072. 

Onward from Koto-ri 319 

The day's story would not be complete without reference to the Tread- 
way bridge train, which moved out about 1400 on the 8th in the trace 
of 1/7. Instructions were to install the sections at the first opportunity, 
but the site had not been secured as darkness approached. A few Chi- 
nese mortar rounds falling in the vicinity of the vulnerable Erockway 
trucks influenced a decision to return them closer to Koto-ri. 22 

Summing up the attacks of 8 December, weather and terrain had done 
Wore than the enemy to prevent all assault units of the 1st Marine Divi- 
sion from securing their assigned objectives, Casualties had not been 
heavy, however, and for the most part the troops were in a position 
for a renewal of their efforts in the morning. 

As for the Koto-ri perimeter, the 8th had passed with only scattered 
small-arms fire being received by the 2d and 3d Battalions of the 1st 
Marines, in Division reserve. All day the Dog Company roadblock, 
°n the route to Hagaru, was like a dam holding back the human torrent 
of Korean refugees. From this throng rose a low-pitched wail of misery 
as homeless men, women, and children huddled without shelter in the 
snowstorm of the 8th. It was a distressing spectacle to the Marines in 
the perimeter, yet the refugees could not be admitted because of the 
probability that Chinese soldiers had infiltrated among them, watching 
for an opportunity to use hidden weapons. There was little the Ma- 
rines could offer by way of succor except medical care in some instances. 
Two women gave birth during the bitterly cold night of the 8th with the 
assistance of Navy medics. In the morning the crowd of refugees, 
swollen by new arrivals, watted with the patience of the humble to 
follow the Marine rear guard to the seacoasr 23 

White is the color of mourning in Korea, and snow flakes drifted down 
gently over the common grave in which 117 Marines, soldiers, and 
"■Oyal Marine Commandos were buried on the 8th at Koto-ri. Lack of 
time had prevented the digging of individual graves in the frozen soil. 24 
Although the necessity of conducting a mass burial was regretted, all 
Mailable space in planes and vehicles was needed for the evacuation of 

v G-3 IstMarDiv tel to CO IstEngBn, 1325 8 Dec 50; G-3 IstMarDiv fel to G-3 
* Corps, 1450 8 Dec 50, in G-3 Journal, X Corps CR, 8 Dec 50; D/Engrs SAR, 10. 
"2/1 SAR, 18-19. 

Smith, Nolet, 1112-1113; Smith, Chronich, 110. According to the terms of the 
armistice of 27 July 1953, the remains were delivered to the Americans after the cease-fire. 


The Chosin Reservoir Campaign 

New snow sparkled in the sunlight as the day of 9 December dawned 
bright, clear, and cold. A brief reconnaissance convinced Captain 
Noren that in the early darkness of the previous evening he had stopped 
one ridge short of his objective — the northwest slopes of Hill 1081, 
covering the approach to the cable underpass. Baker Company of l/l 
moved forward without CCF interference to the position. 

Captain Barrow had his men test-fire their weapons before mounting 
the final assault on the dominating knob of the hill. This proved to be a 
wise precaution, since many of the mechanisms had frozen. After thaw- 
ing them out, Able Company attacked in column with the 1st Platoon 
in the lead. Although the assault troops had the benefit of excellent 
air, artillery, and mortar support, they came under intense small-arms 
fire from Communists occupying camouflaged log and sandbag bunkers. 
McCIelland's men were hard hit but his left flank squad worked its way 
forward in brief rushes to positions within 200 yards of Objective E, 
the topographical crest of Hill 1081. At this point Staff Sergeant Ernest 
J. Umbaugh organized a squad grenade attack which wiped out the 
first CCF bunker. 

A stretch of about 175 yards, swept bare in places by the icy wind, 
now lay between the Marines and the final knob. Barrow perceived that 
this deadly CCF field of fire could be skirted by troops working their 
way around a shelf jutting from the military crest. Under cover of fire 
from his 60 mm mortars and a strike by four Corsairs, he brought up 
his 2d and 3d platoons. While McClelland profited by the cover of 
scrub trees to come up behind the objective, Jones built up a base of 
fire to cover the direct assault of Roach's platoon as it stormed up the 
crest. McClelland had to contend with the enemy's last-ditch stand 
in two log bunkers which the 1st platoon knocked out by tossing gren- 
ades through the embrasures. The Communists resisted to the last gasp, 
but at 1500 the Marines were in undisputed possesion of Hill 1081. 

Sergeant Umbaugh paid with his life at the moment of victory, and 
Barrow had only 111 able-bodied men left of the 223 he had led out 
from Chinghung-ni. But the Marines had won the decisive battle of 
the advance from Koto-ri; they held the key height dominating Fun- 
chilin Pass, though 530 counted enemy dead testified to the desperation 
of the CCF defense. 

Able Company had the most spectacular part, but the victory owed to 

from Koto-ri 


the united efforts of all three rifle companies and supporting arms. 
While Barrow held the crest of the hill, Noren pushed farther along the 
cable car track, meeting stubborn resistance from scattered enemy 
groups, 25 

Tiie collapse of CCF resistance on Hill 1081 had a beneficial effect 
°n the Marine advance from Koto-ri, RCT-7 continued its attack on 
the morning of the 9th with effective air and artillery support. Lieu- 
tenant Hovatter's Able Company of 1/7 seized the remainder of Hill 
1304 while Lieutenant Taylor's Baker Company moved south to Ob- 
jective C. The Army Provisional Battalion occupied the high ground 
between Objectives C and D. 

These movements were carried out against ineffectual enemy resist- 
ance or none at all. Whenever a few Communists dared to raise their 
heads along the MSR, the airborne TADC in the R5D had the com- 
munications equipment to control aircraft on station and to direct their 
employment in response to ground force units. 

The 1st Battalion of RCT-5 maintained its positions on Objective D 
(Hill 1457) all day. At Koto-ri the other two battalions and regimental 
headquarters made preparations to move out the following day. 

As a preliminary to the withdrawal of RCT-1 (-) from Koto-ri, the 
3d Battalion was relieved in its positions along the perimeter by the 
4 1st Commando. Lieutenant Colonel Ridge's men then moved our to 
relieve 3/7 on Objective A and occupy Objective B. The 2d Battalion 
°f RCT-7 (less a company with the regimental train) outposted the 
*tSR between Objectives A and C at about 1630- 20 

Captain Morns' Charlie Company and a platoon of Baker Company, 
1/7, moved down the MSR and secured the bridge site after a short 
hght. While Charlie Company outposted the area, the Baker platoon 
crossed behind the broken bridge and suddenly found about 50 Chi- 
nese in foxholes. "They were so badly frozen," reported Sawyer, "thar 
the men simply lifted them from the holes and sat them on the road 
^here Marines from Charlie Company took them over." 27 Late in the 
afternoon a patrol from 1/7 attempted to make contact with l/l by 
Moving down the MSR. Chinese fire forced the men off the road and 

* IstMar SAR, 24-26; Bates intcrv, 16Mar53, 108-112; Schmuck-Bri 
Aug J6 ; Marshall, "Last Barrier, II," 40-46 ; Schmuck Comments 

7thMar SAR, 26; RCT-7 URl>l 6; 3/7 SAR, n. p.; IstMar SAR, 25; J/1 SAR, 8; 
«J ar SAl <> **/ V5 SAR, 19; Smith, Notes, 1077; Sawyer Comments, 25 Oct 56. 
Sawyer Comments, 25 Oct 56. 


The Chosin Reservoir Campaign 

they scrambled across the defile below the overpass and into l/i's 

lines. 23 

Lieutenant Colonel Partridge arrived with Weapons Company, 1/7 > 
and the bridge sections followed in the Brockway truck. Even the enemy i 
lent a hand when Communist prisoners were put to work as laborers. 
After the abutments were constructed, a Brock way truck laid the tread- 
ways and plywood panels in position so that both trucks and tanks 
could cross. 

At about 1530, three hours after the start, the bridge was in place. 
Partridge drove his jeep to the top of the pass to inform Lieutenant 
Colonel Banks, Commanding Division Train No, 1, that he could be- 
gin the descent. 

Sawyer's troops had not been idle that afternoon and a total of about 
60 CCF prisoners were taken during attacks to drive the enemy back 
from the bridge site. At about 1700 Partridge returned, and an hour 
later the first elements of the Division trains began to cross. Only a 
few vehicles had reached the other side when a disastrous accident 
threatened to undo everything that had been accomplished. A tractor 
towing an earth-moving pan broke through the plywood center panel, 
rendering it useless. And with the treadways spaced as they were, the 
way was closed to wheeled vehicles. 

A first ray of hope glimmered when an expert tractor driver, Tech- 
nical Sergeant Wilfred H. Prosser, managed to back the machine off the 
wrecked bridge. Then Patridge did some mental calculations and 
came up widi the answer that a total width of 136 inches would result 
if the treadways were placed as far apart as possible. This would 
allow a very slight margin at both extremes— two inches to spare for the 
M-26s on the treadways; and barely half an inch for the jeeps using 
the 45-inch interval between the metal lips on the inboard edges of 
the treadways. 

Thanks to skillful handling of the bulldozers the treadways were soon 

Advance reports of the bridge drop had brought press representatives 
ocking to Koto-ri in casualty evacuation planes. David Duncan, of 

" Hid., Schmuck Comments. 
"Partridge interv, 25 Jun 51, 56-65. 

a former Marine, took realistic photographs of the troops which 
attracted nation-wide attention. Keyes Beech sent out daily reports 
w hile making notes for a book about his adventures in Korea. Miss 
Marguerite Higgins, who refused to be outdone by male colleagues, 
was twice requested to leave Koto-ri before nightfall by Marine officers 
who respected her pluck as a reporter but felt that the perimeter was 
n o place for a woman in the event of an enemy attack. 

Hundreds of words were written about the bridge drop. Some of 
these accounts were so dramatized as to give Stateside newspaper readers 
the impression that the span had been parachuted to earth in one piece, 
settling down neatly over the abutments. Headlines reported the prog- 
ress of the 1st Marine Division every day, and front-page maps made 
every American household familiar with the names of such obscure 
Korean mountain hamlets at Koto-ri and Chinhung-ni. 

General Shepherd and Colonel Frederick P, Henderson flew up to 
the perimeter on the 9th for a conference with General Smith. Before 
their departure they were informed that all remaining casualties at 
Koto-ri would be evacuated that day. 30 

All night long on 9-10 December an endless stream of troops and 
chides poured across the span that was doubtless the world's most 
famous bridge for the moment. "The sensation throughout that night," 
recalled Lieutenant Colonel Partridge in retrospect, "was extremely 
eerie. There seemed to be a glow over everything. There was no il- 
lumination and yet you seemed to see quite well; there was artillery 
fire, and the sound of many artillery pieces being discharged ; there was 
the crunching of the many feet and many vehicles on the crisp snow. 
There were many North Korean refugees on one side of the column and 
Marines walking on the other side. Every once in a while, there would 
be a baby wailing. There were cattle on the road. Everything added 
to the general sensation of relief, or expected relief, and was about as 
eerie as anything I've ever experienced in my life." 31 
. Advancing jerkily by stops and starts, the column met no serious oppo- 
sition from Chinese who appeared to be numbed by cold and defeat. 
Prisoners taken that night brought the total up to more than a hundred 
during the movement from Koto-ri to Chinhung-ni. Some of them 
w ere suffering from gangrene, the result of neglected frozen limbs, and 
°thers showed the effects of prolonged malnutrition. These captives 

— , 

* Smith, Notes, 1114; Chronicle, 111-112. 
"Partridge interv, 25 Jun 51, 66. 


The Chosin Reservoir Campaign 

testified that CCF losses from both battle and non-battle casualties had 
been crippling. 

At 0245 on the morning of the 10th the leading elements of the 1st 
Battalion, RCT-7, began to arrive at Chinhung-ni. A traffic regulating 
post had been set up at that point the day before by Colonel Edward W 
Snedeker, Division Deputy Chief of Staff, for the purpose of controlling 
the movement of Marine units to the south. 32 

The remaining elements of RCT-7 were strung out from Objective C 
to the cableway crossing of the MSR. Traffic moved without a hitch 
until 0400, when two trucks bogged down in a U-shaped bypass across 
a partially frozen stream about 2000 yards beyond the treadway bridge. 
Major Frederick Simpson, commanding the 1st Divisional Train, had the 
vehicles pushed off to one side while the engineers built up the road. 
After a delay of three hours the column got under way again, with the 
first vehicles reaching Chinhung-ni at 0850. Ultimately both Division 
trains got through without a fight, thanks to avoiding the delays which 
had caused so much trouble during the advance from Hagaru to Koto- 
ri. 3S 

Following the trains, the 7th Marines moved through the Pass. Lieu- 
tenant Colonel Lockwood's 2/7 (less Company E, guarding the regi- 
mental train) led the way for the regimental command group, the 
Provisional Army Battalion, 3/7 and the 3d Battalion of the 11th 
Marines. 3 * 

During die early morning hours of the 10th George Company of 3/1 
beat off an attack on Objective A by an enemy force estimated at 350 
men. This was the only noteworthy instance of CCF activity otherwise 
limited to scattered shots, and it was believed that the Communists 
were side-slipping southward, parallel with the MSR. Confirmation of 
that assumption came at 1200, when Able Company of 1/1 sighted Chi- 
nese marching in platoon and company columns through the valley only 
about 1000 yards east of Hill 1081. Almost simultaneously other dense 
CCF columns crossed the field of fire of the attached Army self-propelled 
AAA guns while pouring around an adjacent slope. Lieutenant Colonel 
Schmuck called immediately for air strikes and artillery fires. Able 
Company hit the enemy with 4.2" and 81mm mortar rounds, and the 
Army teams cut loose with .50 cal. and 40mm bursts. The slaughter 

"Smith, Notes, 1077; Narrative of Col E. W. Snedeker [Apr 51]. 
"HqBn HD Dei: JO, 9; IstMTBn SAR, 13; Simpson interv, 11 Apr 51; UCol R 
Simpson Comments, 22 Oct 36. 
M 7thMar SAR, 26; 3/11 SAR, 9. 

Onward from Koto-ri 


continued for an hour as the Chinese kept on moving southward with 
that fatalism which never failed to astonish the Marines, 

Baker Company of l/l launched an assault with close air support at 
1300 on a CCF strong point adjacent to the railroad and north of the 
battalion's positions overlooking the MSR. Noren's men found 3.5" 
rocket launchers their most elfective weapon when clearing the Com- 
munists from heavily timbered and sandbagged bunkers. Excellent 
close air support was received, though two Marine KIA casualties re- 
sulted from an error by Navy planes. 35 

All day the seemingly endless column of vehicles and troops wound 
southward along the twisting mountain road. At 1030 General Smith 
and key members of his staff displaced from Koto-ri and proceeded by 
0-47 and helicopter to the rear CP of the Division at Hungnam. By 
1800 both Division trains, all elements of RCT-7 and the 1st, 3d, and 
4th Battalions of the 11th Marines had closed Chinhung-ni. There the 
•nfantrymen entrucked for Hungnam. 39 

The 5 th Marines column followed the 7th, with 3/5 leading the way 
and 2/5 close behind. Jusr sourh of Objective A a brief fire fight was 
necessary to silence a CCF machine gun, whereupon the movement con- 
tinued without further incident until the two battalions reached Chin- 
hung-ni at dusk. The 1st Battalion was not relieved by 2/1 until 1800 
and did not close Chinhung-ni until the early morning hours of the 

The withdrawal of RCT-1 (-) and attached units from Koto-ri com- 
menced on the afternoon of the 10th. The 3d Battalion, it will be 
recalled, had relieved RCT-7 units the day before on Objectives A, B 
and C, and the 1st Battalion occupied Objective E. The regimental 
plan called for 1/1 to hold the Hill 1081 area and protect the MSR 
until the other units of the regiment passed through, whereupon 
Scbmuck's battalion was to pull out with the tanks at the end of the 
column as the rear guard. 

The movement from the Koto-ri perimeter commenced at 1500 when 
H&S Company of RCT-1 departed. The 2d Battalion (-) of the 11th 
Marines fell in behind, followed in order by a detachment of the 185th 

IstMarDiv P1R 47. Bates interv, l6Mar33; Schmudt-Bridges-Bates interv, 8 Aug 56; 
''Chmuclc Comments, 

"TthMar SAR, 26; llthMar SAR, 9-10; Smith Chronicle, 112; lslMTBn SAR, 14; 
G en O. P. Smith Itr, 21 Oct 56. 

. 5thM»r SAR, 34-36; 1/5 SAR, 20; 2/5 SAR, 31; 3/5 SAR, 17-18; LtCo! J. W. 
S| evcris, II, Comments, 19 Oct 56. 


The Chosin Reservoir Campaign 

(C) Engineers, USA, the 2d Battalion of the 31st Infantry, USA, the 
2d Battalion of RCT-1, the Division Reconnaissance Company and 
Lieutenant Colonel Milne's tank column, consisting of Companies B 
and D of the 1st Tank Battalion, the Tank Company of the 31st Infan- 
try, USA, and the Tank Platoon of the 5th Marines AT Company. 38 

As the last elements left Koto-ri the 92 d FA Battalion at Chinhung- 
ni began laying heavy concentrations on the evacuated base. Only 
scattered shots were received by the tail of the column from Chinese 
troops mingling with the Korean refugees. Several small enemy groups 
on the flanks of the column were taken under fire and dispersed. 30 But 
with 3/1 guarding Objectives A, B and C, no serious opposition devel- 
oped during the first stage of the withdrawal. 

At dusk on 10 December all indications made it appear that the move- 
ment of the 1st Marine Division southward would be completed accord- 
ing to plan with only minor losses of personnel and equipment. Fol- 
lowing the seizure of Hill 1081, casualties had been comparatively light 
and enemy resistance ineffectual. Then, between midnight and 01 00 
on 11 December, two reverses occurred in areas the Marines supposed 
to be safe. 

The MSR south of Chinhung-ni was under the protection of troops 
of the 3d Infantry Division — Task Force Dog at Chinhung-ni, and two 
battalions of the 65th Infantry in the vicinity of Sudong and Majon- 
dong. It was manifestly impossible, of course, for the Army troops to 
guard every yard of the road, for the rugged terrain offered many poten- 
tial ambush sites. 10 Guerrilla activity had been reported near Sudong. 
but the division trains and the 5th and 7th Marines had passed through 
without incident. 

On the afternoon of the 10th, Korean civilians warned of an impend- 
ing attack by Chinese soldiers who had infiltrated into this village. As 

" IstMar SAR, 26"; 2/1 SAR, 19; IstMar (S-3) URp! 13, 16-17. The Marine Pro- 
visional Tank Platoon had reached Koto-ri with only two M4A3 tanks, one of which had 
to be cannibalized. Then the platoon was disbanded and integrated with its remaining 
M4A5 into B and D Companies. All the other tanks in the column were M-26s. 

** CO IstMar msg to CG IstMarDiv, 1700 10 Dec 50; Col C. A. Youngdale Comments, 
19 Nov 56. 

" MajGen E. W. Snedeker Comments, n. d., and MajGen A. D. Mead, USA, !tr to 
Gen Snedeker, 6 Dec 56. 

Onward from Koto-rl 327 

previously indicated, Colonel Snedeket had arrived at Chinhung-ni the 
previous afternoon. At his suggestion Task Force Dog sent out an 
mfantry patrol which returned with a report of no enemy activity. 

At dusk an attack on the traffic turnaround outside Sudong caused 
Snedeker to halt all traffic at Chinhung-ni until the MSR was cleared. 
After a fire fight in the darkness, elements of the 65th Infantry reported 
a t dusk that the enemy roadblock had been cleared, and the Marine 
column resumed its movement southward.' 11 

Du ring the next few hours Colonel Snedeker's worst problem was 
jack of transport. The Division had requested that the maximum num- 
ber of trucks, ambulances and narrow-gauge freight cars be collected 
at Majon-dong, the new railhead. Only about 150 trucks were actually 
[oade available, however, 110 of them being from Division service units 
'n the Hungnam area. 

In spite of this shortage, the flow of traffic was being maintained 
^ v hen an explosion of CCF activity brought every thing to a stop at 
Sudong shortly after midnight. Mountain defiles had usually been the 
scene of enemy ambushes, but this time the Chinese swarmed out from 
behind houses in the village with grenades and burp guns. Several 
'ruck drivers of the RCT-1 regimental train were killed by the first 
shots and their vehicles set on fire. In the flickering light a confused 
"fjht ensued as trucks to the rear stopped. The Marines of the RCT-1 
tr ain resisted as best they could, but leadership was lacking until Lieu- 
tenant Colonel John U. D. Page, USA, and Marine PFC Marvin L. 
Wasson teamed up as a two-man task force which routed a group of 
a bout 20 Chinese at the head of the vehicle column. The valiant Army 
^cillery officer paid with his life, and Wasson received two wounds 
"Om a grenade explosion. Pausing only for first aid, he got back into 
the fight as another Army officer, Lieutenant Colonel Waldon C. 
winston, commanding the 52d Transportation Truck Battalion, USA, 
greeted a counterattack by Marine and Army service troops. Harry 
a United Press correspondent, also had a part in the action. 

Wasson called for a machine gun to cover him while he fired three 
^hite phosphorus rounds from a 75mm recoilless at a house serving 

, 'Th's is probably the same action referred to in 3dInfDiv CR, Dec SO, as occurring 
1 OliO n Dec. The account of the Sudong ambush is based on: IstMar SAR, 26; 
" ( Mar VRpt (5-3) 13, 18 ; Narrative of Col W. C. Winston, USA, 14 Jan 55; Cpt M. L. 
wasso„ lu .„ /--i l6 May 5I . Cp! D E> Klepsig interv bjr H. L. Page, Jr., 

Canzona and J, C. Hubbell, "The 12 Incredible Days of Col 
.J. Ixix, no. 4 (Apr 56), 84-86. The Page and Winston 
"> the possession of Capt Canzona. 

328 The Choiin Reservoir Campaign 

the enemy as a stronghold. It burst into flames and the survivors who 
ran out were cut down by machine-gun nre. The Marine PFC, a jeep 
driver who was dubbed "The Spirit of '76" by Winston, then volun- 
teered to help push trucks of exploding ammunition off the road. 

Winston gradually brought order out of chaos, but it was daybreak 
before die MSR was cleared so that the column could start moving 
again. The RCT-1 regimental train had suffered casualties of eight 
killed and 21 wounded, while equipment losses consisted of nine trucks 
and an armored personnel carrier. 

Lack of infantry protection was a factor in another reverse which 
occurred at the tail of the Division column. General Smith's final orders 
for withdrawal provided that the tanks were to come out behind the 
1st Marines' train with the infantry of that regiment bringing up the 
rear.* 3 Thus a breakdown in the armored column would not block the 
road for wheeled vehicles, yet the tanks would have protection against 
close-in attack. 

The 1st Marines prepared detailed plans for the leapfrogging of 
battalions during the final withdrawal phase. In effect these called fox 
2/1 to relieve 1/5 on Objective D and remain there until relieved i fl 
turn by 2/31. The Army battalion would hold until 3/1 passed 
through, then follow Ridge's battalion down the MSR. After 2/1, 3/ 1 
and 2/31 had passed through Lieutenant Colonel Schmuck's positions 
around Hill 1081, 1/1 would follow as rear guard. 13 
^ The first departure from plan occurred when Lieutenant Colonel 
Sutter discovered, after starting up Hill 1457, that Objective D was 
so far from the road and so steep that most of the night would be 
required merely for the battalion to make the climb. No enemy having 
been sighted, he asked permission to return to the road and continue 
along the MSR. This request was granted by Colonel Puller and 2/1 
resumed the march, followed by 2/11 (-), 2/31 and H&S Company 
of RCT-1 in that order. Lieutenant Colonel Ridge's 3/1, which re- 
mained on Objectives A, B and C until 2100, fell in at the end of the 
regimental column. 44 

About midnight, after waiting for 3/1 to move down the pass, the 
the tank column began its descent with only Recon Company as protec- 
tion. Lieutenant Hargett's platoon of 28 men guarded the last ten 

"CG IstMarDiv ltr to COs 1st, 5th, and 7thMars, 15J0 9 Dec 50. 
" IstMar OpnO 16—30, 7 Dec 50. This order issued before the decision to send the 
tanks down the MSR in one group makes no mention of protecting the armor. 
" IstMar URpt (S-3) 13, 18; Sutter interv, 8 Aug 56. 

Onward from Kato-ri 


tanks and the other two platoons screened the middle and head o£ the 
column * s Behind the last machine, approaching as close as they dared, 
were the thousands of refugees, CCF soldiers had mingled with them, 
hatching for an opportunity to strike, and Hargett had the task of 
keeping the Koreans at a respectful distance. 
_ Progress was slow as the 40 tanks inched around the icy curves with 
hghts on and dismounted crewmen acting as guides. Shortly before 
°100 the ninth machine from the rear had a brake freeze which brought 
the tail of the column to a halt for 45 minutes. The rest of the tanks 
clanked on ahead, leaving the last nine stranded along the MSR south- 
west of Hill 1457 and about 2000 yards from the treadway bridge. The 
enemy took advantage of the delay when five CCF soldiers emerged in 
file from among the refugees as a voice in English called that they 
wished to surrender.* 8 

Hargett went to meet them cautiously, covered by Corporal George 
A. J. Amyotte's BAR. Suddenly the leading Chinese stepped aside to 
re veal the other four producing hidden burp guns and grenades, Har- 
gett pulled the trigger of his carbine but it failed him in the sub-zero 
cold. The former all-Marine football star then hurled himself at the 
enemy group, swinging his carbine. He crushed a Chinese skull like 
* n eggshell, but a grenade explosion wounded him as the ambush 
developed into an attack from the high ground on the flank as well 
a s the rear. 

Before the remaining four Chinese could do Hargett any further 
harm, Amyotte shot them down, one by one. The fight turned into a 
wi ld melee in which friend could hardly be distinguished from foe. 

Hargett's platoon slowly fell back until the last tank was lost to the 
enemy along with its crew. The men in the next to last tank had but- 
toned up and could not be aroused to their danger by banging on the 
hull with rifle butts. While making the effort Hargett was stunned 
W an enemy explosive charge which blew PFC Robert D. DeMott over 
fte sheer drop at the side of the road, leaving him unconscious on a 

"Neither Capt Bruce F, Williams, commanding Baker Company, nor his platoon leaders 
^Lized that Hargett's men were screening the rear of the tank column. Maj B. F, Williams 
^ments, 2 6 Dec 56. 

p ~*"' s description of the ambush at the rear of the tank column is based upon; Capt 
l»i " Har «<*t. interv by HistBr, G-3, 14 Dec 53 ; Maj W. Gall, IstLt R. B, Grossman [sic), 
istu F. r_ Krai nee, IstLt E. C. Hargett, 2dLt C. E. Patrick, and 2dLt D. W. Sharon, 
TSff by Capt K. A. Shutts, II Feb 51; MCB Study, II-C-1 11-113; Smith, Notes, 
17 O HqB " WilJ ' ams Comments, 26 Dec 56; Maj E. C. Hargett Comments, 


The Chosin Reservoir Campaign 

ledge. The other men of his platoon believed that he had been kilW 
and continued their withdrawal, only to find the next seven tanks 
abandoned with their hatches open. 

Amyotte, wearing body armor, was covering the retirement, firing 
from prone, when a CCF grenade exploded after landing squarely o° 
his back. The Chinese must have suspected black magic when be 
went on cooly picking off opponents as if nothing had happened * 7 

It was a precarious situation for Hargett and his remaining 24 men- 
But they fought their way out without further casualties, and mean- 
while tank crewmen had succeeded in freeing the brake of the lead rank 
and driving two tanks down the road. One of them was brought on' 
by Corporal C. P. Lett, who had never driven before. "I'm going to g et 
this tank out of here even if I get killed doing it!" he told Hargett. p| 
sheer determination, coupled with luck, he maneuvered around the 
obstacles ahead and down the icy road to safety. 

Captain Gould and his demolitions crew of engineers had been 
waiting for hours to blow the treadway bridge after the last elements 
of the Division crossed. With the passage of the two tanks ano 
Hargett's platoon, it was believed that all Marines who could be extri- 
cated were safely over the span. On this assumption, which later proved 
to be erroneous, CWO Willie Harrison set off the demolition charge* 

The losses of the Recon platoon were three men MIA (two of then 1 
later changed to KIA) and 12 wounded. Crews of the two rear tank* 
were missing and presumed dead. 48 Hargett's losses would have been 
more severe except for the fact that some of his men were wearing 
Marine body armor made of light-weight plastics. 

To another man of Hargett's platoon went the distinction of being 
the last Marine out at the finish of the Chosin Reservoir breakout. When 
durable PFC DeMott recovered consciousness, after being blown ovef 
the brink by the CCF pack charge explosion, he found himself pr e ' 
cariously perched on a ledge overhanging the chasm. Slightly wounded 

" Developed by the scientists of the Naval Field Medical Research Laboratory at Caf>j!j 
Lejeunc, the ordinary utility jackets contained thin plates of fibcrgtas which wou'^ 
Stop most shell or grenade fragments. Five hundred jackets had been air-shipped to 'jj 
1st Marine Division for field tests, but other supplies had a higher priority during «*; 
Chosin Reservoir campaign and only the 50 garments sent to Recon Company were wot" 
in combat. Lynn Montross, 'Development of Our Body Armor," Murine Corps G.-tzelfa 
xxxix, no. 6 (Jun 55), 10-16. The full story of the development of body armor, Ofl 
of the most important tactical innovations of the Korean conflict, will be told in t» c 
next two volumes of this series. 

£CO lstTkBn te! to G-3 IstMafDiv. n.t., 11 Dec 50, gives tank personnel losses 3 s 

Onward from Koio-ri 331 

h e managed to climb back on the road, where he encountered only 
Korean refugees. Upon hearing a tremendous detonation he realized 
the bridge had been blown. He remembered, however, that pedes- 
Wans could cross through the gatehouse above the penstocks, and he 
came down the mountain with the refugees to Chinhung-ni. There he 
w as gi ven a welcome befitting one who has cheated death of a sure 

The remaining tanks made it safely to Chinhung-ni without benefit 
°f infantry protection other than what was afforded by Recon Com- 
pany. 10 Lieutenant Colonel Schmuck did not receive a copy of lstMar 
Op«0 16-50, he explained, his only information being a Frag O desig- 
nating 1/1 as rear guard and "a hasty, 30-second conference" with 
Colonel Puller when the 1st Marine command group passed through. 
I was informed," he added, "that the tanks were in the rear of the 
1st Marines, that 2d Bn, 31st Infantry was bringing up the rear, and 
Ul at as soon as that unit passed, I would employ my battalion as rear 

p a rd No mention at all was made of the Reconnaissance Company. 

order to check off the units that passed endlessly through my lines, 
1 established a check point at the incline railway overpass and kept a 
cl °se record of movement." 

A great deal of intermingling of units was observed by rhe 1/1 com- 
mander. At 0300, after sighting the lights of the tanks, he gave orders 
Able Company to commence the withdrawal, in order "to consoli- 
date my battalion for the rear guard action prior to daybreak. . . . When 
first tanks reached my position, I was first startled to find no 2/31 
^company ing them and then flabbergasted to discover that the Recon 
Company was somewhere out there 'screening' the movement. This 
kneeled my carefully laid covering plan." 60 

No further trouble resulted for the tanks and Recon Company. 
*"iead of them the infantry units continued the movement southward 
Chinhung-ni chiefly by marching because of the shortage of trucks, 
'^tenant Colonel Sutter's men proved that footslogging is not a lost 
by covering the 22 miles from Koto-rt to Majon-dong in a 20-hour 
with packs, heavy parkas, individual weapons and sleeping bags. 61 
Battle casualties of the division for the final stage, the attack from 
^°to-ri southward, were as follows: 

op,. IstTltBn SAR, 36; Snedeker narrative, Apr 51; Statement of N. A. Canzom, n d.: 
Comments, 26 Dec 56. 
Schmuck Comments. 
LtCol Sutter interv, 8 Aug 56. 

332 The Chosin Reservoir Campaign 







Totals 1 

fi Der 







9 Dec 

10 Dec 

11 Dec 







1 DivAdjutant SAR, appendix II, 3. 

At 1300 on 11 December the last elements of the Division cleared 
Chinhung-ni. Majon-dong had been left behind at 1730 without audi- 
ble regrers; and by 2100 all units, with the exception of the tanks, had 
reached assigned assembly areas in the Hamhung-Hungnam area. The 
armored column arrived at the LST staging area of Hungnam half an 
hour before midnight, thus bringing to an end the breakout of the 
1st Marine Division. 02 

"Smith, Notes, 1091. 


The Hungnam Redeployment 

Marines Billeted in Hungnam Area — Embarkation of ist Ma- 
rine Division — The Last Ten Days at Hungnam — Marines 
Arrive at New Assembly Area — Contributions of Marine Avia- 
tion — Losses Sustained by the Enemy — Results of the Reservoir 


C£ \X7" AVE AND LOOK happy! " These wece the first wor ds to B rect 
W some of the weary, unshaven Marines upon arrival in the 
Hamhung-Hungnam area. They grinned obligingly in response to the 
press photographers snapping pictures of the motor column from the 
roadside. They were happy indeed to be back in a world of hot meals 
a nd hot baths. They were happy to be alive. 

Marines and attached Army troops found it astonishing as well as 
Petering to learn that such expressions as "epic" and "saga" and 
miracle of deliverance" were being applied to the breakout in Ameri- 
can newspapers. The press correspondents in turn were astonished to 
lg arn that never for a moment had the men doubted that they would 
s ^g their way out to the seacoast. 

"The running fight of the Marines and two battalions of the Army's 
7r h Infantry Division from Hagaru to Hamhung — 40 miles by air but 
60 miles over the icy, twisting mountainous road — was a battle unparal- 
teled in U. S. military history," commented Time. "It had some aspects 
°f Bataan, some of Anzio, some of Dunkirk, some of Valley Forge, 
^°rne of the 'Retreat of the 10,000' (401-400 D. C.) as described in 
Xenophon's Anabasis." 

Not until the Marines had fought their way as far as Chinhung-ni, 
the weekly newsmagazine continued, did there appear to be much hope 
that they would come out as an organized force. Then "for the first 
*g» c it look ed as if most of the 20,000 [Marines] would get through." 1 

'Time, lbs Weekly Newsmagazine, Ivi, no. 25 (18 Dec 50>, (Pacific Edition), 18-19. 


334 The Chosin Reservoir Campaign 

By reading contemporary press accounts it is possible to recapture 
the mood o£ the American public upon realization of the disaster which 
had overtaken the Eighth Atmy. "It was defeat—the worst defeat the 
United States ever suffered," reported Thne in the issue of 11 December 
1950. 'The Nation received the fearful news from Korea with a strange- 
seeming calmness — the kind of confused, fearful, half-believing matter- 
of-factness with which many a man has reacted upon learning that 
he has cancer or tuberculosis. The news of Pearl Harbor, nine years 
ago to the month, had pealed out like a fire bell. But the numbing 
facts of the defeat in Korea seeped into the national consciousness 
slowly out of a jumble of headlines, bulletins, and communiques; days 
passed before its enormity finally became plain." 2 

Newsweek called it "America's worst military licking since Pead 
Harbor, Perhaps it might become the worst military disaster in AmefJ' 
can history. Barring a military or diplomatic miracle, the approximately 
two-thirds of the U. S. Army that had been thrown into Korea might 
have to be evacuated in a new Dunkerque to save them from being It*' 
in a new Bataan." 3 

The situation in west Korea was depressing enough. But at least the 
Eighth Army had a line of retreat left open. It was with apprehension 
that the American public stared at front-page maps showing the "en- 
trapment" of the 1st Marine Division and attached U. S. Army units 
and British Marines by Chinese forces. Press releases from Korea did 
not encourage much expectation that the encircled troops could save 
themselves from destruction by any means other than surrender. 1° 
either event the result would be a military catastrophe without a parallel 
in the Nation's history. 

The first gleam of hope was inspired by the news that the Marines 
had seized the initiative at Yudam-ni and cut a path through Chined 
blocking the route to Hagaru. Then came the thrilling reports of th £ 
air drops of supplies at Hagaru and the mass evacuation of casualties by 
air. Much of the humiliation felt by newspaper readers was wipe° 

»TiW, Ivi, no, 2A (11 Dec 50), (Pacific Edition), 9- , 
* Newsweek, xxxvi, no, 24 (11 Dec 50) 11, "Such quotations," comments GeffSj* 
Mac Arthur, referring tn the excerpts from Time and Newsweek, "certainly do not reflect tt] c 
mood of the American public at the time, but rather the emotional reaction of irresponsible 
writers. . . . Neither [of the two news magazines] had the slightest access to the ha*', 
information and factors which involved the decisions and operations of our government $ n 
its higher military commanders. . . , The unreliability of these nonprofessional cstim;it c 
of the Situation is indeed eloquently demonstrated by comparing them with the actuy 
military reports by the commands involved." Gen D. MacArthur Itr to MajGen E ™ 
Snedeker. 17 Oct 56. 

The Hungnam Redeployment 


wean by pride as General Smith's troops fought through to Koto-ri and 
Chinhung-ni in sub-zero cold. The air drop of the bridge sections was 
d dramatic climax to the realization that what had been a hope was 
n °w a fact — the Cbosin Reservoir troops had saved themselves and 
wflicted a major defeat on the Chinese Communists in the doing. Testi- 
mony of POWs had left no doubt that the mission of the three CCF 
corps was the annihilation of the surrounded United States forces, but 
W result had been enemy losses which did not fall far short of annihila- 
tion of the CCF units themselves. 

It was in a spirit of prayerful thanksgiving, therefore, that Americans 
read about the column of grimy, parka-clad men which came out of the 
fountains of northeast Korea on 11 December 1950. They had come 
°ut fighting and they had brought their wounded and most of their 
^uipment out with them. 

Marines Billeted in Hungnam Area 

As late as 9 December it had been General Smith's understanding 
^at the 1st Marine Division would occupy a defensive sector south and 
^uthwest of Hungnam. Then Colonel McAllister at Hungnam was 
Notified by X Corps that plans for the defense of the Hungnam area 
had been changed, so that the Marines were to embark immediately for 
^deployment by water to South Korea. General Smith was informed 
£ n the 10th, and so promptly was the new plan put into effect that the 
jjrst Marine units were already loading out before the last elements of 
the Division arrived at Hungnam. 4 

No changes were necessary in the plans for the reception of Marine 
Ur nts in the Hungnam area worked out by Colonel Snedeker and Colonel 
McAllister on orders of General Smith. On 8 December, Snedeker 
£ad issued detailed instructions which designated defensive sectors for 
^CT-l at Chigyong and for RCT-5 and RCT-7 in the vicinity of 
*onpo Airfield. The 1st Amphibian Tractor Battalion was charged 
^'th making such preparations to receive the returning troops as put- 
tln g up tents, installing stoves, erecting heads and equipping galleys. 5 

'The Division Embarkation Section began revision of its standby embarkation order 
2*./JS December and the following day was able to issue Embarkation Order 3-50. 

s°P memo to HistO, subj: Historical Diary, 19 Dec 50. 
■ Smith, Notes, 106~5-106*6*, 1119; IstMarDiv memo: "Plan for receiving IstMarDiv 
Hamhung-Hungnam area," 0800 8 Dee 50. 

By reading contemporary press accounts it is possible to recapture 
the mood of the American public upon realization of the disaster which 
had overtaken the Eighth Army. "It was defeat— the worst defeat the 
United States ever suffered," reported Time in the issue of 1 1 December 
1950. 'The Nation received the fearful news from Korea with a strange- 
seeming calmness — the kind of confused, fearful, half-believing matter- 
of-factness with which many a man has reacted upon learning that 
he has cancer or tuberculosis. The news of Pearl Harbor, nine years 
ago to the month, had pealed out like a fire bell. But the numbing 
facts of the defeat in Korea seeped into the national consciousness 
slowly out of a jumble of headlines, bulletins, and communiques; days 
passed before its enormity finally became plain," 2 

Newsweek called it "America's worst military licking since Pear! 
Harbor. Perhaps it might become the worst military disaster in Ameri- 
can history. Barring a military or diplomatic miracle, the approximately 
two-thirds of the U. S. Army that had been thrown into Korea j 
bate to be evacuated in a new Dunkercrue to save them 
in a new Bataan." 3 

The situation in west Korea was depressing enough. But at least th £ 
Eighth Army had a line of retreat left open. It was with apprehensio 11 
that the American public stared at front-page maps showing the "en- 
trapment" of the 1st Marine Division and attached U. S. Army units 
and British Marines by Chinese forces. Press releases from Korea di^ 
not encourage much expectation that the encircled troops could savf 
themselves from destruction by any means other than surrender. I" 
either event the result would be a military catastrophe without a parallel 
in the Nation's history. 

The first gleam of hope was inspired by the news that the Marine* 
had seized the initiative at Yudam-ni and cut a path through Chines £ 
blocking the route to Hagaru. Then came the thrilling reports of trif 
air drops of supplies at Hagaru and the mass evacuation of casualties bf 
air. Much of the humiliation felt by newspaper readers was wipe") 

'Time, Ivi, no. 24 (11 Dee 50), (Pacific Edition), 9- 

* Newsweek, xxxvi, no. 24 (11 Dec 50) 11. "Such quotations," comments Gene**' 
MacArthur, referring to the excerpts from Time and News week, "certainly do not reflect tl rf 
mood of the American public at the time, but rather the emotional reaction of Irresponsibly • 
writers. . . . Neither [of the two news magazines] had the slightest access to the basi' 
information and factors which involved the decisions and operations of our government ad" ( 
its higher military commanders. . . . The unreliability of these nonprofessional estimatfj j 
of the situation is indeed eloquently demonstrated by comparing them with the actu jl 
miliary reports by the commands involved." Gen D. MacArthur Itr to MajGen E. V' t 

the Hungnam Redeployment 335 

clean by pride as General Smith's troops fought through to Koto-ri and 
Chinhung-ni in sub-zero cold. The air drop of the bridge sections was 
a dramatic climax to the realization that what had been a hope was 
ttow a fact— the Chosin Reservoir troops had saved themselves and 
inflicted a major defeat on the Chinese Communists in the doing. Testi- 
mony of POWs had left no doubt that the mission of the three CCF 
c t>rps was the annihilation of the surrounded United States forces, but 
fiifi result had been enemy losses which did not fall far short of annihila- 
tion of the CCF units themselves. 

It was in a spirit of prayerful thanksgiving, therefore, that Americans 
read about the column of grimy, parka-clad men which came out of the 
fountains of northeast Korea on 11 December 1950. They had come 
°"t fighting and they had brought their wounded and most of their 
equipment out with them. 

Marines Billeted in Hungnam Area 

As late as 9 December it had been General Smith's understanding 
'hat the 1st Marine Division would occupy a defensive sector south and 
s °uthwest of Hungnam. Then Colonel McAllister at Hungnam was 
Notified by X Corps that plans for the defense of the Hungnam area 
had been changed, so that the Marines were to embark immediately for 
^deployment by water to South Korea. General Smith was informed 
0r i the 10th, and so promptly was the new plan put into effect that the 
W Marine units were already loading out before the last elements of 
'he Division arrived at Hungnam * 

No changes were necessary in the plans for the reception of Marine 
5$fcs in the Hungnam area worked out by Colonel Snedeker and Colonel 
McAllister on orders of General Smith. On 8 December, Snedeker 
had issued detailed instructions which designated defensive sectors for 
JCT-l at Chigyong and for RCT-5 and RCT-7 in the vicinity of 
*onpo Airfield. The 1st Amphibian Tractor Battalion was charged 
"jfth making such preparations to receive the returning troops as put- 
tir ig up tents, installing stoves, erecting heads and equipping galleys. 6 

The Division Embarkation Section began revision of its standby embarkation order 
10 December and the following day was able to issue Embarkation Order 3—50. 
•WSpQ memo to HistO, subj: Historical Diary, 19 Dee 50. 

j, Smith, 'Holes, 1065—1066, 1119; IstMarDiv memo: "Plan for receiving IstMarDiv 
Utl 'ts, Hamhung-Hungnam area," 0800 8 Dec 50. 


The Cbosin Reservoir Campaign 

The Navy, as usual, was ready. On 15 November, it may be recalled, 
General Smith had candidly expressed his misgivings about the strategic 
outlook to Admiral Morehouse and Captain Sears, Morehouse was 
chief of staff to Admiral Joy, ComNavFE, and Sears served in a like 
capacity under Admiral Doyle, CTF-90. This frank discussion had 
not fallen upon deaf ears; and on the 28th, only a few hours after the 
first CCF attacks at Yudam-ni, ComNavFE alerted CTF-90 as to the 
possible need for a redeployment operation by sea. The following day 
Joy advised that events in the Chosin Reservoir area made it desirable 
for ships of TF-90 to be on six hours' notice either in Korean waters 
or at Sasebo, Japan. 

CTF-90 commenced planning immediately for either an adminiS' 
trative or emergency outloading. His OpnO 19-50, issued on the 28$ 
for planning purposes, provided for half of the amphibious force to 
conduct redeployment operations on the east coast under Doyle as 
ComPhibGruOne, while the other half had a similar mission on the 
west coast under Admiral Thackrey, ComPhibGtuThree. 

At this time ComPhibGruThree and most of the amphibious units 
were in Japanese ports for upkeep and replenishment. All were directed 
by Admiral Joy on the 29th to proceed to Sasebo. 

ComPhibGruOne had just completed the opening of Hungnam » s 
a major resupply port and was preparing to withdraw to Japan witi 1 
the remaining amphibious force. On 30 November, however, && 
deteriorating situation of ground forces in Korea made it necessary fo £ 
all units of TF-90 to be in Korean waters. The emergency appeared 
to be more critical on the west coast, and two-thirds of the smalls 
amphibious ships were allotted to the Inchon area while the transports 
were divided equally between Inchon and Hungnam. 

The first week of December was devoted to planning and preparing 
for a redeployment of X Corps by sea which appeared more likel) r 
every day. Mine sweeping operations were resumed at Hungnam to 
enlarge the swept anchorage area and provide swept channels for gun- 
fire support ships. 

X Corps OpnO 9-50, issued on 5 December, provided for the defense 
of the Hungnam area by setting up a perimeter with a final defense lin e 

* Except when otherwise noted, the remain J er of this section is based on the following 
sources: ComPhibGruOne. Anion Report, Hungnam, 1-2, 4-6; Forney Special Rep off' 
5-7; X Corps, OpnO 9, 5 Dec 50; X Corps, Special Report on Hungnam Evacuation 
2-3; X Corps 01 27, 9 Dec 50; Gen L, C Shepherd, Jr., Itr to MajGen E. W. Snedefeffl 
25 Oct 56. 

The Hungnam Redeployment 


<ibout seven miles in radius. Pie-shaped sectors of fairly equal area, 
converging on the harbor, were assigned to the following major units 
from east to west — 1st ROK Corps (less one division at Songjin), 
7th Infantry Division, 3d Infantry Division (with the 1st KMC Regi- 
men -t(-)), and the 1st Marine Division. The Marine sector included 
Vonpo Airfield. 

On 8 December a conference held on board the Mount McKmley by 
ComNavFE and CTF-90 was attended by Vice Admiral Struble, 
Com7thFlt, Rear Admiral John M. Higgins, ComCruDivFive, and 
Lieutenant General Shepherd, CG FMFPac. 

General Shepherd was present as "Representative of Commander 
Naval Forces, Far East, on matters relating to the Marine Corps and 
for consultation and advice in connection with the contemplated am- 
phibious operation now being planned," 7 

General Almond was directed on the 9th to redeploy to South Korea 
a "d to report to the commanding general of the Eighth Army after 
assembling in the UIsan-Pusan-Masan area. He was to release the 
ls t ROK Corps as soon as possible to the ROK Army in the Samchok 
are a. An assembly area in the vicinity of Masan, widely separated from 
the other units of X Corps, was specified for the 1st Marine Division. 

CTF-90 was assigned the following missions: 

(1) Provide water lift for and conduct redeployment operations of UN 
forces in Korea as directed; 

(2) Control all air and naval gunfire support in designated embarkation 

(3) Protect shipping en route to debarkation poets; 

(4) Be responsible for naval blockade and gunfire support of friendly 
units East Coast of Korea, including Pusan; 

. (5) Be prepared to conduct small-scale redeployment operations, includ- 
ln g ROK forces and UN prisoners of war; 

(6) Coordinate withdrawal operations with CG X Corps and other com- 
mands as appropriate; 

(7) Support and cover redeployment operations in the Hitngman or other 
designated Korean embarkation area. 


ComNavFE endorsement on CG FMFPac ser 8432, 6 Dec 50. "Although it was 

I i n j C f ssar y f°f We to exercise my command functions," commented General Shepherd, 
e*D ^' a ora "5 r directed to do so by both Admirals Radford and Joy if I considered it 
of (4 ^ s * recn "' ! was directed to take charge of the nava! phase of the evacuation 

tyith P^ nam as Representative of the Commander, Nava! Forces, Far East. In compliance 
11 these instructions I exercised close overall supervision of this phase of the operation 
h a ]f ma de suggestions to both Admiral Doyle and General Almond relative to the em- 
' th« Marine Forces from Huninam." Shepherd ltr, 25 Oct So". 


The Cbosin Reservoir Campaign 

No such large-scale sea lift of combined Army, Navy, Air Force, and 
Marine elements, not to mention the ROK units, had been attempted 
since Okinawa. The time was so short, moreover, that action could not 
wait on detailed planning and organization. In any event the job had 
to be done, 

An enormous fleet of shipping must be assembled from every avail- 
able source in the Far East. More than 100,000 troops must be em- 
barked, and it was estimated at first that 25,000 Korean refugees must 
be evacuated, though this figure had to be nearly quadrupled. Moun- 
tains of supplies and thousands of vehicles must be outloaded from 3 
comparatively small port. While these activities were in progress, the 
perimeter must be protected with naval gunfire and aircraft against an 
enemy credited by X Corps G-2 estimates with the capabilities of 
launching an attack of six to eight depleted divisions against the 
Hamhung-Hungnam area. 

It was aptly dubbed "an amphibious landing in reverse," since the 
plan called for the methodical shrinking of the perimeter, under cover 
of air strikes and naval gunfire, until the last platoon of the ground 
forces had embarked. Then would come the grand finale of the demo- 

! Marme Division 

The Woman evacuation was instructive as a rehearsal for the Hungnatf 
redeployment. From 2 to 10 December, Lieutenant Colonel Crowe- 
1st Shore Party Battalion had charge of the outloading while sharing 
the defense of the harbor with a battalion from the 3d Infantry DivJ 
sion and two KMC battalions. Another Marine outfit, Company A of 
the 1st Amphibian Truck Battalion, speeded up the operation by mak 
ing hundreds of round trips between docks and ships with DUKWs. g 

Air cover and naval gunfire from supporting ships of TE-90.21 
was so effective that Wonsan had no enemy interference worth men- 
tioning. Covering missions continued to be fired until the last friendl)' 
troops withdrew, and operations were completed without the necessi*)' 

'The sources of this section, unless otherwise states, are as follows: Forney, Specif 
Report, 8-18; MCB Study, 1I-C-114-U5; ComPhibGruOne Action Report, Hune.mi«'- 
5-10, 25; IstMAW HD, Dec SO, 1-2; Smith, Notes, 120-1123; Ma, R. W. Shut» 
Report on Amphibious Withdrawal of the U. S. X Corps from Hungnam, Korea, 1-9' 
MGCIS-1 HD, Dec 30; X Corps OpnO 10, II Dec 50; IstMarDiv EmbO 3-30, 11 
50; Shepherd ltr, 25 Oct 56; LtGen W. H. Tunner, USAF, Itr to MaJGen SnedeSw* 

The Hungnam Redeployment 


°f destroying UN supplies and equipment. Altogether, 3834 troops, 
7009 Korean civilians, 1146 vehicles, and 10,013 bulk tons of cargo 
had been outtoaded when the operation was completed on 10 Decem- 
ber, One detachment of Shore Party troops sailed for Pusan with the 
DUKWs in preparation for unloading the 1st Marine Division upon 
its arrival at that port. 

The Hungnam evacuation plan, as outlined in X Corps OpnO 10-50, 
'ssued on 11 December, provided for the immediate embarkation of 
f he 1st Marine Division and the 3d ROK Division. A smaller perimeter 
than the original concept was to be defended meanwhile by the 7th 
a nd 3d Infantry Divisions, with the latter having the final responsibility. 
Major units were to withdraw gradually by side-slipping until only 
Enforced platoons remained as covering forces holding strong points. 
Plans called for naval gunfire and air support to be stepped up as the 
perimeter contracted. 

CTF-90 assumed control of all naval functions on 10 December 
a fter approving loading plans made at a conference of Navy officers 
and representatives of X Corps. Colonel Forney, Deputy Chief of 
Staff, X Corps, was appointed Corps evacuation control officer with 
responsibility for the operation of the Hungnam port and was assigned 
a small staff. Major Richard W. Shutts, of General Shepherd's party, 
placed in charge of the Operations Section. Two more former 
TTtJPac Marines on the X Corps staff were assigned sections— Major 
Charles P. Weiland, the Loading Section; and Major Jack R. Munday, 
the Navy Liaison Section. Lieutenant Colonel Harry E. Moisell, USA, 
beaded the Movement Section, and Captain William C. Cool, USA, 
foe Rations Section. 

Lieutenant Colonel Charles E. Warren served as Colonel Forney's 
^ecutive officer until he was incapacitated by pneumonia and relieved 
b y Lieutenant Colonel Crowe. 

The 2d Engineer Special Brigade, USA, was responsible for opera- 
tion of the dock facilities, traffic control in the dock areas, and for 
burnishing Japanese stevedores, winch operators, cargo handling equip- 
m ent, and dunnage. A reinforced company from the 1st Shore Party 
Battalion worked the LST and small craft beaches while controlling 
foe lighterage for ships loading in the stream. 

It was decided on 11 December that 1st Marine Division staging to 
as sembly areas should commence immediately. Loading had to be 
e *pedited so that ships could be used for a second and even third turn- 

the Hungnam Redeployment 


and Marine planes also did much to discourage any hostile intentions 
the enemy may have had, 

Mgcis-1, the ground control intercept squadron at Yonpo, stopped 
directing the high altitude fighters on 11 December and passed over to 
the USS Mount McK'mtey the task of keeping the perimeter clear of 
any enemy planes. Over-all control of air still remained ashore with 

At 1500 on the 13th General Smith went aboard the USS Bay field 
a nd opened the Division CP. As his last duty on shore, he attended 
Memorial services held by the Division at the Hungnam Cemetery. 
While the commanding general paid his tribute to the honored dead, 
Chinese POWs were making preparations for the interment of the last 
bodies brought down from Chinhung-ni. 

The Marine loading was completed on the 14 th. At a conference 
fhat day with CTF-90 on board the Mount McKiniey, General Smith 
ln quired as to the possibility of having the ships carrying the Marines 
Unload at Masan instead of Pusan, thus saving a 40-mile movement by 
truck. Admiral Doyle pointed out that this procedure was not feasible 
because of the lack of lighterage facilities at Masan. The additional 
turn-around time, moreover, would have delayed the evacuation of 
remaining Corps units. 

The 14 th was also the day when Marine air strikes from Yonpo 
ended with the departure of the last of the Wing's land-based fighters 
for Japan. Shortly after midnight the Air Defense Section of mtacs-2 
passed control of all air in the Hungnam area to the Navy's Tactical 
A ir Control Squadron One of TF-90 aboard the USS Mount McKiniey. 
The Marine squadron then set up a standby TACC aboard an LST until 
the final withdrawal on 24 December. 

At 1030 on 15 December, as the Bay field sailed, the curtain went 
do*wn on one of the most memorable campaigns in the 175-year history 
°f the Marine Corps. A total of 22,215 Marines had embarked in ship- 
ping consisting of an APA, an AKA, 3 APs, 13 LSTs, 3 LSDs, and 7 
c °mmercial cargo ships. 

The Yonpo airlift continued, however, until 17 December when the 
" e ld was closed and a temporary airstrip nearer the harbor was made 
^ailable to twin-engine R4D's for the final phase of the air evacuation. 
The only Marine units left in Hungnam were a reinforced Shore Party 
company, an Anglico group and one and a half companies (88 LVTs) 
°f the 1st Amphibian Tractor Battalion. They passed under the opera- 

and Marine planes also did much to discourage any hostile intentions 
the enemy may have had. 

MGCiS-1, the ground control intercept squadron at Yonpo, stopped 
directing the high altitude fighters on 11 December and passed over to 
the USS Mount McKhiley the task of keeping the perimeter clear of 
a ny enemy planes. Over-all control of air still remained ashore with 

At 1500 on the 13th General Smith went aboard the USS Bayfield 
and opened the Division CP. As his last duty on shore, he attended 
memorial services held by the Division at the Hungnam Cemetery, 
^hile the commanding general paid his tribute to the honored dead, 
Chinese POWs were making preparations for the interment of the last 
bodies brought down from Chinhung-ni. 

The Marine loading was completed on the 14th. At a conference 
that day with CTF-90 on board the Mount McKhiley, General Smith 
'nquired as to the possibility of having the ships carrying the Marines 
unload at Masan instead of Pusan, thus saving a 40-mile movement by 
huck. Admiral Doyle pointed out that this procedure was not feasible 
because of the lack of lighterage facilities at Masan. The additional 
turn-around time, moreover, would have delayed the evacuation of 
remaining Corps units. 

The 14th was also the day when Marine air strikes from Yonpo 
ended with the departure of the last of the Wing's land-based fighters 
f or Japan. Shortly after midnight the Air Defense Section of mtacs-2 
Passed control of all air in the Hungnam area to the Navy's Tactical 
Air Control Squadron One of TF-90 aboard the USS Mount McKhiley. 
The Marine squadron then set up a standby tacc aboard an LST until 
the final withdrawal on 24 December. 

At 1030 on 15 December, as the Bayfield sailed, the curtain went 
"own on one of the most memorable campaigns in the 175-year history 
°f the Marine Corps. A total of 22,215 Ma rines had embarked in ship- 
ping consisting of an APA, an AKA, 3 APs, 13 LSTs, 3 LSDs, and 7 
commercial cargo ships. 

The Yonpo airlift continued, however, until 17 December when the 
field was closed and a temporary airstrip nearer the harbor was made 
?yailable to twin-engine R4D's for the final phase of the air evacuation. 
The only Marine units left in Hungnam were a reinforced Shore Party 
c ornpany, an anglico group and one and a half companies (88 LVTs) 
°r the 1st Amphibian Tractor Battalion. They passed under the opera- 

tional control of X Corps to assist in the outloading of Array units. 
Also, Colonel Boeker C. Battccton, commanding MAG-12, had moved 
to Hungnara for the final evacuation of his air group from Yonpo and 
to arrange for loading its heavy equipment and remaining personnel 
aboard SS Towanda Victory. Then on 18 December he flew his com- 
mand post to Itami. 9 

The Last Ten Days at Hungnam 

With ten days remaining for the embarkation of the two Army divi- 
sions, the problem of Korean refugees threatened to disrupt the sched- 
ule. But CTF-90 contrived somehow to find the shipping, and the 
homeless Koreans were willing to put up with any hardships to escape 
from Communist domination. It became standard practice to embark 
at least 5000 on an LST, not counting children in arms, and no less than 
12,000 human sardines found standing room on one commercial cargo 
ship. 10 

The most fragile link in the complex chain of operations was repic \ 
sented by the two 390-ton diesel electric tugs. No others were available- 
no r were spare parts to be had, yet both tugs had clocked more than 
5000 running hours since the last overhaul. Thus it seemed almost 9 
miracle that neither broke down for more than three hours in all, and 
repairs were made with materials at hand. 

On the 18th, when the last ROKs sailed for Samchok, the 7th Infan- 
try Division was in the midst of its outloading. By 20 December all 
troops of this unit had embarked, according to schedule. Responsibility 
for the defense of Hungnam then passed to Admiral Doyle as General 
Almond and his staff joined CTF-90 on board the flagship Mottrf 
McKinley. General Soule's 3d Division now manned the shore defense' 
alone. 11 

When the perimeter contracted to the immediate vicinity of Hung' 
nam, following the evacuation of Hamhung and Yonpo Airfield, 
cruisers, seven destroyers, and three rocket-firing craft covered the entire 
front from their assigned positions in mine-swept lanes. A total Of 
nearly 34,000 shells and 12,800 rockets was fired by these support 

' LtGen T. J. Cushman Comments, n. d.; MAG- 12 WD, Dec 50. 

* Unless otherwise stated, the sources for this section are the same as for the last. 

11 VAdm J. H. Doyle Itr, 5 Oct 56. 

The Hungnam Redeployment 343 

ships, with the battleship Missouri contributing 162 16-inch rounds at 
the finish of the bombardment. About 800 more 8-inch shells and 
12,800 more 5-inch shells were expended at Hungnam than during 
the naval gunfire preparation for the Inchon landing. 

Seven embarkation sites were employed (see Map 30) . From left to 
tight they were designated as PINK Beach, blue Beach, green One and 
Two Beaches, and yellow One, Two, and Three Beaches. The 7th 
RCT, holding the left sector, was to embark from pink Beach, blue 
and green One Beaches were assigned to the 65th RCT in the center, 
^hile the 15th RCT had green Two and the three yellow Beaches. 

H-hour had been set at 1100 on the 24th, and seven LSTs were 
beached at 0800 to receive 3d Infantry Division troops. Soon the three 
fe gtments were reduced to as many battalions which acted as covering 
forces while the other troops fell back to assigned beaches. All with- 
drawals were conducted methodically along specified routes by units 
Using marking panels. Then the battalions themselves pulled out, 
leaving only seven reinforced platoons manning strong points. The 
Hungnam redeployment came to an end when these platoons boarded 
an LST after a search for stragglers. Air and naval gunfire support 
had made it an uneventful finish except for the accidental explosion of 
a n ammunition dump on PINK Beach, resulting in two men killed and 
21 wounded. 

All beaches were clear by 1436 on Sunday afternoon, the 24th, with 
Able and Baker Companies of the Amtrac Battalion sticking it out to 
the end. Marines of these units provided fires to cover the flanks of 
the last withdrawals and manned 37 LVTs evacuating Army troops 
from pink Beach. With the exception of three LVTs lost in the ammu- 
nition dump explosion on that beach, all LVTs and LVT(A)s were 
safely reembarked on LSDs at the finish of the operation. 13 

Remarkably few supplies had to be left behind for lack of shipping 
s pace. Among them were 400 tons of frozen dynamite and 500 thou- 
sand-pound bombs. They added to the tumult of an awe-inspiring 
demolitions scene. The entire Hungnam waterfront seemed to be blown 
sky-high in one volcanic eruption of flame, smoke, and rubble which 
^ft a huge black mushroom cloud hovering over the ruins. 

The chill, misty dawn of Christmas Day found the Mount McKinley 
about to sail for Ulsan with CTF-90 and Generals Almond and 

The Hungnam Redeployment 345 

Shepherd after an eminently successful operation. It had been pretty 
much the Navy's show, in the absence of enemy interference, and the 
final statistics were staggering — 105,000 military personnel, 91,000 
Korean refugees, 17,500 vehicles, and 350,000 measurement tons of 
cargo loaded out in 193 shiploads by 109 ships. 

"With naval, air and surface units effectively isolating the beach- 
head, we were able to take our time and get everything out," com- 
mented Admiral Joy on 26 December. "Admiral Doyle has turned in 
another brilliant performance. We never, never contemplated a Dun- 
kirk — not even faintly." 13 

Marines Arrive at New Assembly Area 

While the remaining X Corps units completed outloading at Hungnam, 
the Marines were landing at Pusan and proceeding by motor march to 
their new assembly area in the vicinity of Masan. General Craig, the 
ADC, had gone ahead with the advance party from Hungnam and 
made arrangements for the reception of the Division. 14 

News from the front in West Korea was not encouraging as the 
Eighth Army planned further withdrawals, for G-2 reports indicated 
that the advancing Chinese were about to launch a great new offensive 
s hortly. Despite the persistent rumors that all Korea might be evacu- 
ated by UN forces, General MacArthur insisted in his special commu- 
nique of 26 December that operations "were skilfully conducted widi- 
°ut loss of cohesion and with all units remaining intact. . . . 

In its broad implications I consider that these operations, initiated on 
24 November and carried through to this [Hungnam] redeployment, have 
served a very significant purpose — possibly in general result the most signifi- 
cant and fortunate of any conducted during the course of the Korean cam- 

The might of a major military nation was suddenly and without warning 
thrown against this relatively small United Nations Command but without 
attaining a decision. 

Due to intervening circumstances beyond our power to control or even 
detect, we did not achieve the United Nations objective. 

But at a casualty cost less than that experienced in a comparable period of 

" CinCFE Special Communique, 26 Dec 50, witfi attached report from Gen Almond 

u £ Navy announcement in New York Times, 27 Dec 50. 
„ Smith, Notes, 1126. A detailed account of the arrival of the 1st Marine Division at 
^ us an and Masan will be found in the first chapter of Volume IV of this series. 


The Cbosin Reservoir Campaign 

defensive fighting on the Pusan perimeter, we exposed before too late secret 
political and military decisions of enormous scope and threw off balance 
enemy preparations aimed at surreptitiously massing the power capable of 
destroying our forces with one mighty extended blow.™ 

Questions as to the proper evaluation of the Eighth Army withdrawal 
turned into a controversy during coming months with political as well 
as military implications. Press representatives, military critics and sol- 
diers o£ other nations, while crediting MacArthur with a great victory 
at Inchon, were for the most part of the opinion that the Eighth Army 
withdrawal of November and December was a costly reverse. 10 

Marine officers in Korea had no first-hand knowledge of EUSAK oper- 
ations. It was obvious, however, that an Eighth Army retirement south 
of the 38th Parallel had made it desirable if not actually necessary for 
X Corps to withdraw from northeast Korea, even though General 
Almond held that a Hamhung-Hungnam perimeter could be defended 
throughout the winter. 

Contributions of Marine Aviation 

The close coordination of aviation with the ground forces in the Chosin 
campaign was due in large measure to the assignment of additional 
pilots to the 1st Marine Division as forward air controllers. They had 
been plucked from 1st Marine Aircraft Wing squadrons barely in time 
ro join their battalions before embarking at Inchon. Increasing the 
number of FACs to two per battalion did much to bring air support 
down to the company level when needed. 17 

" CinCFE Special Communique, 26 Dec 50. 

" General MacArthur' s comments are as follows: "This, again, is a no n -professional 
estimate belied by the facts and the viewpoints of all senior commanders present. ... I' 
was the purpose of Red China to overwhelm and annihilate, through a 'sneak' attack, the 
Eighth Army and X Corps by the heavy assault of overwhelming forces of a new power, 
not heretofore committed to war, against which it knew or rightly surmised there 
would be no retaliation. This plan was foiled by our anticipatory advance which un- 
covered the enemy's plot before he had assembled all of his forces, and by our prompt 
strategic withdrawal before he could inflict a crippling blow of a 'Pearl Harbor' nature. 
, . . This was undoubtedly one of the most successful strategic retreats in history, com- 
parable with and markedly similar to Wellington's great Peninsula withdrawal. Had the 
initiative action not been taken and an inert position of adequate defense assumed, I have 
no slightest doubt that the Eighth Army and the X Corps both would have been annihilated. 
As it was, both were preserved with practically undiminished potential for further action. 
I have always regarded this action, considering the apparently unsurmoun table difficulties 
and overwhelming odds, as the most successful and satisfying 1 have ever commanded." 
MacArthur Itr, 17 Oct 56. 

" Air Officer SAR, 4. 

The Hungnam Redeployment 347 

Air units frequently had to rely upon charts with place names, grid 
coordinates, and scales different from those in the hands of the ground 
troops. Here the Marine system of the man on the ground talking the 
pilot onto the target by reference to visual land marks paid off. 

Cloudy, stormy weather was common. Three night fighter pilots 
Were lost because of icing, disorientation, and insufficient radio aids to 
navigation. Two VMF-212 land-based pilots saved themselves from 
destruction only by landing on the Badoeng Strait with their last drops 
of gas. 

With the approach of winter and cold weather, aircraft on the land- 
ing strips had to be run up every two hours at night to keep the oil 
warm enough for early morning takeoffs. Ordnance efficiency dropped. 
Planes skidded on icy runways. Once, after a six inch snow, 80 men 
a nd ten trucks worked all night to clear and sand a 150-foot strip down 
the runway at Yonpo. 1H 

As early as mid-November it once took hours of scraping and chip- 
ping on the Badoeng Strait to clear three inches of glazed ice and snow 
off the decks, catapults, arresting wires, and barriers. Planes which 
stood the night on the flight deck had to be taken below to the hangar 
deck to thaw out. On another occasion VMF-214 had to cancel all 
flight operations because 68-knot winds, heavy seas, and freezing tem- 
peratures covered the Sirilfs flight deck and aircraft with a persisrent 
coat of ice. 

One pilot of VMF-323 had to return shortly after takeoff because 
Water vapor froze in his oil breather tube in flight. With the back pres- 
sure throwing oil all over his windshield and billowing black vapor and 
smoke out of his cowl, he landed only to have the front of his Corsair 
burst into flames when the escaped oil dripped on the hot exhaust 
stacks. Quick work by the deck crews extinguished the fire. 

A hazard as great as being shot down was a crash landing or bail-out 
at sea, where the water was cold enough to kill a man in 20 minutes. 
Survival clothing and equipment was so bulky that pilots could barely 
get into their cockpits. 

Maintenance and servicing problems ashore, complicated by dirt, 
dust, and the scarcity of parts, kept mechanics working to the point of 
exhaustion. Insufficient trucks forced the ground crews to refuel and 

"The material in this section is derived from: MAG-12 SAR, annex C, 10; VMF-214 
annex F, 2}; IstMAW SAR, annex J, appendix S (VMF-323), 4, 9, 11; IstMAW 
3-7; Maj H. D. Kuokka Comments, a. d. 


The Chosin Reservoir Campaign 

arm planes by hand, often from rusting fuel drums. Two destructive 
crashes, one fatal, were attributed to accumulated water in gasoline. 

Aboard ship until mid-November, VMF-214 was able to keep 91 p er 
cent of its planes operative. When suddenly deployed ashore to Won- 
san, its aircraft availability dropped to 82 per cent and at Yonpo to 
67 per cent. Once back at sea again in December, it jumped up to 
90 per cent. 

Basic difference in close air support doctrine between the Navy and 
Marines and Air Force were resolved by close and friendly liaison 
between the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing and the Fifth Air Force com- 
mands; by a Marine aviator attached to the Joint Eighth Army-Fifth 
Air Force Operations Center at Seoul; and by indoctrination of non- 
Marine units of the X Corps in the Marine-Navy style of close air 
support. Difficulties in inter-service communications slowed Fifth Air 
Force operations orders to carrier squadrons, both Navy and Marine. 
Messages were routed via feaf and ComNavFe in Tokyo and arrived 
hours late. Ashore, even MAG- 12 during the first two weeks at Won- 
san received its Fifth Air Force mission orders six to 36 hours late. 
A direct radio teletype between 1st MAW and 5thAF headquarters 
alleviated the situation. And when the CG 1st MAW received full 
control of the air over the X Corps area on 1 December, these problems 
were eased. 

Actual control of air support for the scattered ground units demon- 
strated close cooperation between the Navy and Marine Corps. This 
was evident from the time the Navy's Tactical Air Control Squadron 
One on the USS Mount McKinley passed control to the Air Defense 
Section of mtacs-2 at Hamhung to the time that control returned to 
the ship in the Hungnam evacuation. 

When the Marines had control, the ship stood by as an emergency 
tacc and acted as a radar reporting station for mtacs-2. When con- 
trol was passed back afloat, the Air Defense Section of mtacs-2 stood 
by as a standby tacc aboard an LST until the last man was pulled off 
the beach. Furthermore, three officers from mgcis-1 went aboard 
Mount McKinley to help out as Air Defense controllers. They were 
experienced. All through the Wonsan-Chosin campaign, the mgciS 
had directed the defensive fighter patrols, circling Wonsan and Yonpo, 
to check all unidentified aircraft before the latter got close enough 
to do any damage. Mccrs-l also steered lost planes to base in bad 
weather, occasionally vectored them into the GCA radar-controlled 

The Rungtwn Redeployment 349 

landing pattern, and even assisted mtaccs-2 in directing air support 
planes to FACs. 10 

Tactical air support in the X Corps zone was directed to the ground 
units by the Air Support Section of mtacs-2. From 26 October to 11 
December, 3703 sorties in 1053 missions were controlled by the tacps 
of Marine, Army, and ROK units. Close air support missions accounted 
for 599 of the total (468 for 1st Marine Division, 8 for 3d Infantry 
Division, 56 for 7th Infantry Division, and 67 for ROKs) . The remain- 
ing 454 missions were search and attack. 20 

When FAC communications failed from valley to valley, aircraft 
became radio relays and controllers. This was highlighted by the 
airborne TADC, orbiting over the road from Hagaru. 

Approximately half of the Marine air missions were in support of 
non-Marine ground units. The ROK and the U. S. Army units were 
not as well supplied with experienced FACs as the 1st Marine Division. 
In these areas four Air Force "Mosquitos" (AT-6 "Texan" training 
planes) were assigned to X Corps to assist in the control of air sup- 
port. 21 

When shore-based Marine air support was about to cease with the 
closing of Yonpo air field, VMF-214 and VMF-212 quickly moved 
their operations aboard carrier; and during the final phases of the Hung- 
nam evacuation, almost half of the Marine tactical air strength was 
operating from carrier bases. VMF-214 flew back aboard Sicily on 7 
December without missing a mission and VMF-212, which had moved 
to Itami on 4 December to draw and test a new complement of carrier 
Corsairs, was aboard the USS Bataan eight days later. When the month 
ended, still another squadron, VMF-312, was polishing up its carrier 
landing technique for seaborne duty. 22 

The outcome of the Hagaru withdrawal owed much to air-dropped 
applies and to casualty evacuations by General Tunner's Combat 
Cargo Command (CCC). Assisting Combat Cargo in Marine support 
were the Wing's R4D twin engine transports and TBM World War II 
type torpedo bombers, both of which were flown largely by the field- 
desk pilots on the Wing and Group staffs. Most of the Marines' share 
°f the heavy airlifting, however, was done by the four engine R5D 

^MGCIS-l HD Dec 50, 2; MTACS-2 HD Die 50, 7. 
The remainder of this section, unless otherwise noted, is based upon Smith, Nolet, 
•*JWMl 1222. 
" IstMAW HDs, Oct-Dee 50. 
"VMF-312 HD, Dec 50, 2. 


The Cbosw Reservoir Campaign 

transports of Colonel Dean C. Roberts' VMR-152. Early in October 
this squadron had been temporarily shifted from the trans-Pacific airlift 
of the Navy's Fleet Logistics Air Wing to support the Marines in the 
Wonsan campaign. In Korea its operations were controlled by the 
Combat Cargo Command, which committed an average of five Marine 
R5D's a day into the CCC airlift. In such missions these transports 
supported all UN units from Pyongyang to Yonpo and points north. 
Marine transports not committed by the CCC for general UN support 
in Korea were available for Wing use. From 1 November until 
Christmas, VMR-152 safely carried five million pounds of supplies 
to the front and evacuated more than 4000 casualties. 23 

The Cliosin Reservoir campaign opened two new chapters in Marine 
aviation history. The first was the use of the airborne TADC to control 
the air support of the division column between Hagaru and Chinhung- 
ni. The second was the appearance of VMF-311, the first Marine jet 
squadron to fly in combat. Beginning on 10 December the newly 
arrived squadron flew interdiction missions for four days from Yonpo. 
Then it moved to Pusan to operate for the remainder of the month 
with 5th Air Force jets streaking up the long peninsula to cover the 
withdrawal of the Eighth Army. 21 

Appreciation for the assistance given by Marine aviation to Marine 
ground forces was expressed in a letter of 20 December from General 
Smith to General Harris, the Commanding General of the 1st Marine 
Air Wing. The Division Commander said: 

Without your support ouc task would have been infinitely more difficult 
and more costly. During the long reaches of the night and in the snow storms 
many a Marine prayed for the coming of day or clearing weather when he 
knew he would again hear the welcome roar of your planes as they dealt out 
destruction to the enemy, Even the presence of a night heckler was reassuring' 
Never in its history has Marine Aviation given more convincing proof of 
its indispensable value to the ground Marines. A bond of understanding 
has been established that will never be broken » 

The story of air support in the Chosin Reservoir campaign would not 
be complete without a summary of the results of VMO-6. Marines took 
a proprietary interest in Major Gottschalk's squadron, which had put 

u ComNavFE msg to CinCPacFIt, 0858 I Oct 50; CinCPacFIt msg to ComNavFE, 224) 
2 Oct 50; CG IstMAW msg to CO VMR-152, 0620 12 Oct 50; VMF-152 SAR. 6; Co! 
R. R. Yeaman Comments, 19 Sep 56 and 6 Nov 56. By 25 December when VMR-152 
returned to Navy control it had flown 729,790 miles in Korean lifts and carried 8,068,800 
pounds of cargo, 234,000 pounds of mail and 11,314 passengers, including 4276 casualties- 

" IstMAW SAR, annex K, appendix F (VMF-311), 2; VMF-311 HD, Dec 50. 

" MajGen O. P. Smith ltr to MajGen F. Harris, 20 Dec 50. 

The , 

into effect the helicopter techniques worked out at Quantico by the 
experimental squadron, HMX-1. Some of these techniques were hav- 
ing their first test in combat, for die development of rotary-wing 
aircraft in 1950 was at a pioneer stage comparable to that of fixed-wing 
aircraft in the first year of World War I. On 28 October, VMO-6 had 
a strength of 25 officers, 95 enlisted men, ten light fixed -wing aircraft 
(eight OY-2s, two L5Gs) and nine HO3S-1 helicopters. From that 
date until 15 December the squadron made 1544 flights for a total of 
1624.8 hours, The principal missions were as follows: 

Reconnaissance— OYs, 393; helicopters, 64; Transportation— OYs, 130; 

helicopters, 421; Evacuation — OYs, 29; helicopters, 191; Liaison— OYs, 35; 

helicopters, 90; Artillery spot — OYs, 39; helicopters, 0; Utility— OYs, 26; 

helicopters, 60; Rescue — OYs, 0; helicopters, ll. 20 

But statistics can give no idea of the most significant achievement 
of VMO-6 in the Reservoir campaign. For during the most critical 
period the only physical contact between units separated by enemy 
action was provided by the OYs and helicopters. The importance of 
this contribution can hardly be overestimated. 

Losses Sustained by the Enemy 

Marine losses in northeast Korea, as reported to the Secretary of the 
Navy, included a total of 4418 battle casualties from 26 October to 15 
December 1950—604 KIA, 114 DOW, 192 MIA, and 3508 WIA. The 
7313 non-battle casualties consisted largely of minor frostbite and 
indigestion cases who were soon restored to active duty.- 7 Eight Marine 
pilots were KIA or died of wounds, four were MIA, and three were 
wounded. General Smith estimated that a third of the non-battle casual- 
ties were returned to duty during the operation.^ 8 

Enemy losses for the same period were estimated at a total of 37,500 
—15,000 killed and 7500 wounded by Marine ground forces, plus 
10,000 killed and 5000 wounded by Marine air. Not much reliance 
can be placed in such figures as a rule, but fortunately we have enemy 
testimony as to heavy losses sustained by the Chinese Communists. 

" VMO-6 SAR, 20; LtCol V. J. Gottschalk, Transcript of Informal Remarks at HQMC, 
17 May 51. 

Smith, Notes, 1146-1149. See Appendix E for a day-by-day accounting of Marine 
"Smith Itr. 21 Oct 56. 

This evidence goes far toward explaining why they did not interfere 
with the Hungnam redeployment. 

Contrary to expectations, Chinese military critiques have been candid 
in admitting failures and unsparing in self-criticism. Among captured 
documents are summaries of the operations of the three CCF armies 
encountered by the Marines in the Chosin Reservoir area. These major 
units, representing at least 11 and probably 12 divisions, were as fol- 

20th CCF Army— 58th, 59th, and 60th Divisions, with the 89th Division 
of the 30th Army attached; 

Division of 32d Army attached; 

27th CCF Army— 79th, 80th, and 8 1st Divisions, with the 70th Division 
of 24th Army attached. 20 

All three armies were major units of the 9th Army Group of the 
3d CCF Field Army. In mid-October the leading elements of the 4th 
CCF Field Army had crossed the Yalu to oppose the U. S. Eighth Army. 
The operations of X Corps in northeast Korea being considered a threat 
to the left flank, the 42 d Army was detached with a mission of provid- 
ing flank protection, pending relief by units of the 3d CCF Field Army. 
Three divisions, the 124th, 125th, and 126th were represented. While 
the last hovered on the left flank of the 4th Field Army, the 124th was 
hard hit near Sudong during the first week of November by RCT-7 
of the 1st Marine Division. 

In order to cover the withdrawal of the remnants, the 125th Division 
moved south of Hagaru from the Fusen Reservoir area. Both CCF 
divisions then fell back to Yudam-ni, where they were relieved by units 
of the 20th Army, 3d Field Army. This ended the operations of the 4th 
Field Army in northeast Korea. 

Shortly after the appearance of the 20th Army in the Yudam-ni area, 
the 27th Army moved into positions north of the Chosin Reservoir, 
Thus the enemy had available eight divisions for the attacks of 27-28 
November on the Marines in the Yudam-ni area and the three 7th 
Infantry Division battalions east of the Chosin Reservoir. If it may be 
assumed that these CCF divisions averaged 7500 men each, or three- 

* A CCF army consisted of three or four divisions and therefore might be considered 
generally the equivalent of a. U. S. corps. This account of CCF units and movements 
is derived from the MCB Study, II-C-116-125, which in turn is based on an analysis 
of CCF prisoner interrogations and captured enemy documents. The Board, consisting of 
senior officers, was given the mission in 1951 of preparing "an evaluation of the influence 
of Marine Corps forces on the course of the Korean War, A Aug 50-15 Dec 50." 


The Htmgnttm Redeployment 

fourths of full strength, the enemy had a total of 60,000 men in assault 
or reserve. 

The Chinese, as we know, failed to accomplish their basic mission, 
which prisoners agreed was the destruction of the 1st Marine Division. 
In every instance the efforts of the first night were the most formidable, 
with enemy effectiveness declining sharply after a second or third 
attack. The explanation seems to be that the 12 divisions were sent 
into northeast Korea with supplies which would have been sufficient 
°nly if the first attempts had succeeded. The following comment by 
the 26th Army supports this conclusion: 

A shortage of transportation and escort personnel makes it impossible to 
accomplish the mission of supplying the troops. As a result, our soldiers 
frequently Starve. From now on, the organization of our rear service units 
should be improved. 30 

The troops were hungry. They ate cold food, and some had only a few 
potatoes in two days. They were unable to maintain the physical strength 
for combat; the wounded personnel could not be evacuated. . . . The fire 
power of our entire army was basically inadequate. When we used our guns 
there were no shells and sometimes the shells were duds. 

The enemy's tactical rigidity and tendency to repeat costly errors are 
charged by the 20th Army to inferior communications: 

Our signal communication was not iip to standard. For example, it took 
more than two days to receive instructions from higher level units. Rapid 
changes of the enemy's situation and the slow motion of our signal commu- 
nication caused us to lose our opportunities in combat and made the instruc- 
tions of the high level units ineffective. . . . 

We succeeded in the separation and encirclement of the enemy, but we 
failed to annihilate the enemy one by one. The units failed to carry out the 
orders of the higher echelon. For example, the failure to annihilate the 
enemy at Yut'an-ni [Yudam-ni} made it impossible to annihilate the enemy 
at Hakalwu-ri [Hagaru]. The higher level units' refusal of the lower level 
units' suggestion of rapidly starting the combat and exterminating the enemy 
one by one gave the enemy a chance to break out from the encirclement. 

One of the most striking instances of the tactical inflexibility which 
stultified Chinese efforts was found at Hagaru. With only a depleted 
Marine Infantry battalion and service troops available to defend a 
Perimeter four miles in circumference, the enemy needed mere daylight 

.* Translations of CCF documents referred to in this section are found in HQ 500th 
Military Intelligence Group, Document 204141, "Compilation of Battle Experiences Re- 
ported by Various Armies in their Operation Against U. S. Forces in Korea." Among 
W units covered are the 20th, 26th, and 27th Armies. 


The Cbosin Reservoir Campaign 

Yet these were just the positions chosen for the attack, not only on the 
first night but also the second occasion 48 hours later. 

"The [CCF] tactics were mechanical," commented the 27th Army. 
"We underestimated the enemy so we distributed the strength, and 
consequently the higher echelons were overdispersed while the lower 
echelon units were ove ('concentrated. During one movement, the dis- 
tance between the three leading divisions was very long, while the 
formations of the battalions, companies, and units of lower levels were 
too close, and the troops were unable to deploy. Furthermore, recon- 
naissance was not conducted strictly; we walked into the enemy fire net 
and suffered heavy casualties." 

Summing up the reasons why the Marines at Yudam-ni were not 
"exterminated promptly," the 27th Army concludes that it was "because 
our troops encountered unfavorable conditions during the missions 
and the troops suffered too many casualties." This would seem to be 
another way of saying that the Chinese failed to destroy the 1st Marine 
Division because they themselves were nearly destroyed in the attempt. 
At any rate, evidence from the enemy documents points overwhelmingly 
to crippling losses both from Marine fire power and non-battle casual- 
ties chargeable to lack of equipment and supplies. 

The 20th Army had a hundred deaths from tetanus caused by im- 
proper care of wounds. Hundreds of other soldiers were incapacitated 
by typhus or ailments of malnutrition and indigestion. 

More dian 90 per cent of the 26th Army suffered from frostbite. 
The 27th Army complained of 10,000 non-combat casualties alone out 
of a strength of four divisions: 

The troops did not have enough food, they did not have enough houses to 
live in, they could not stand the bitter cold, which was the reason for the 
excessive non -combat reduction in personnel (more than 10 thousand per- 
sons) , the weapons were not used effectively. When the fighters bivouacked 
In snow-covered ground during combat, their feet, socks, and hands were 
frozen together in one ice ball; they could not unscrew the caps on the hand 
grenades; the fuses would not ignite; the hands were not supple; the mortar 
tubes shrank on account of the cold; 70 per cent of the shells failed to deto- 
nate; skin from the hands was stuck on the shells and the mortar tubes. 

Testimony as to the effects of Marine fire power is also given by 

The coordination between the enemy infantry, tanks, artillery, and air- 
planes is surprisingly close. Besides using heavy weapons for the depth, the 
enemy carries with him automatic light firearms which, coordinated with 
rockets, launchers, and recoilless guns are disposed at the front line. The 

characteristic of their employment is to stay quietly under cover and open 
fife suddenly when we come to between 70 and 100 meters from them, 
making it difficult for our troops to deploy and thus inflicting casualties 
upon us, 

The 20th and 27th Armies appear to have been bled white by the 
losses of the first week. Early in December, units of the 26th Army 
appeared on the east side of the MSR between Hagaru and Koto-ri, and 
this unit furnished most of the opposition from 6 to 11 December. 

Seven divisions in all were identified by the 1st Marine Division; and 
since the taking of prisoners was not a matter of top priority with men 
fighting for existence, it is likely that other CCF units were encountered. 
The CCF 9th Army Group, according to a prisoner questioned on 
7 December, included a total of 12 divisions. This POW gave the 
following statement: 

Missions of the four (4) armies in 9th Group are to annihilate the 1st 
Division which is considered to be the best division in tlie U. S. After 
annihilating the 1st Marine Division they are to move south and take Ham- 
hung. 31 

As to the reason why the Chinese took no advantage of the Hungnam 
^deployment, there seems little doubt that the 9th Army Group was 
foo riddled by battle and non-battle casualties to make the effort. This 
ls not a matter of opinion. Following the Hungnam redeployment, as 
the U. S. Eighth Army braced itself to meet a new CCF offensive, UN 
and fecom G-2 officers were naturally concerned as to whether the 
remaining 9th Army Group troops in northeast Korea would be avail- 
able to strengthen the CCF 4th Field Army. It was estimated that only 
two weeks would be required to move these troops to West Korea, 
^here they had the capability of reinforcing the CCF attack against 
the Eighth Army. 

Efforts to locate the 9th Army Group were unavailing for nearly 
three months. Then a prisoner from the 77th Division of tlie 26th 
Army was captured by U. S, Eighth Army troops on 18 March 1951. 
during the following week POW interrogations established that three 
divisions of the 26th Army were in contact with Eighth Army units 
northeast of Seoul. 

"The only conclusion to be drawn," comments the Aiarme Corps 
Board Si sidy, "based on information collected by IstMarDiv and X 

" IstMarDiv PIR 47, end. 1. The four armies referred (o by the POW were the 
2Cth, 27th, and 30th. Actually the 30th Array did not exist, as one of its divisions 
" a d been attached to each of the other three armies. 

The Chasm Reservoir Campaign 

Corps, and that by UN and FFC, is that all corps of 9th Army Group 
had been rendered militarily ineffective in the Chosin Reservoir opera- 
tion and required a considerable period of time for replacement, re- 
equipment, and reorganization." 32 

Thus it appears that the Marines not only saved themselves in the 
Chosin Reservoir fights; they also saved U. S. Eighth Army from being 
assailed by reinforcements from northeast Korea in the CCF offensive 
which exploded on the last night of 1950. 

Results of the Reservoir Campaign 

There could be no doubt, after taking into account the CCF mission, 
that the 9th Army Group, 3d Field Army, had sustained a reverse in 
northeast Korea which amounted to a disaster. On the other hand, it 
might have been asked whether a retrograde movement such as the 
Marine breakout, even though aggressively and successfully executed, 
could be termed a victory. 

This question involves issues too complex for a clearcut positive 
answer, but it would be bard to improve upon the analysis of results in 
the Marine Corps Board Study: 

Although the operations of this phase constitute a withdrawal, despite the 
fact that CG lstMarDiv characterized them as "an attack in a new direction," 
the withdrawal was executed in the face of overwhelming odds and con- 
ducted in such a manner that, contrary to the usual withdrawal, some very 
important tactical results were achieved. These may be summarized as 

1, Extricated lstMarDiv from a trap sprung by overwhelming enemy 
ground forces by skilful employment of integrated ground and air action 
which enabled the Division to come through with all operable equipment, 
with wounded properly evacuated and with tactical integrity. 

2, Outfought and outlasted at least seven CCF divisions under conditions 
of terrain and weather chosen by the enemy and reputedly to his liking. 
Although frostbite took a heavy toll of the Division it hit CCF units far 
harder, perhaps decisively. 

3, In the process of accomplishing "2" above, rendered militarily non- 
effective a large part of 9th CCF Army Group. Those units not contacted 
by lstMarDiv were fixed in the Chosin Reservoir area for possible employ- 
ment against the Division and consequently suffered from the ravages of 
sub-zero cold and heavy air attacks. 

33 MCS Study, II-C-125. 

The Hungnam Redeployment 357 

4. As a direct result of "3" above, enabled X Corps to evacuate Hungnam 
without enemy interference and, consequently, as a combat effective unit with 
all personnel and serviceable equipment. Pressure on X Corps by 9th CCF 
Army Group during the seaward evacuation of the Corps, a most difficult 
operation, would undoubtedly have altered the result. 33 
Improvisations in tactics were now and then made necessary by 
li nusual conditions of terrain, weather or enemy action. But on the 
whole the Ma rines saved themselves in the Reservoir campaign by the 
application of sound military tactics. In the doing they demonstrated 
repeatedly that the rear makes as good a front as any other for the 
militarily skilled and stout-hearted, and that a unit is not beaten merely 
because it is surrounded by a more numerous enemy. 

Inevitably the Marine campaign has been compared to that classic of 
a H military breakouts — the march of the immortal Ten Thousand 
w hich is the subject of Xenophon's Anabasis. Stranded in the hostile 
Persian Empire in the year 401 B. C, these Greek mercenaries cut their 
w ay to safety through Asiatic hordes. The following description of the 
tactics used by Xenophon and his lieutenant Cherisophus to overcome 
r °ad blocks in mountain country will have a familiar ring to Marine 
v eterans of the Reservoir: 

The enemy, by keeping up a continuous battle and occupying in advance 
every narrow place, obstructed passage after passage. Accordingly, whenever 
the van was obstructed, Xenophon, from behind, made a dash up the hills 
a nd broke the barricade, and freed the vanguard by endeavoring to get above 
the obstructing enemy. Whenever the rear was the point attacked, Cheri- 
sophus, in the same way, made a detour, and by endeavoring to mount higher 
than the barricaders, freed the passage for the rear rank; and in this way, 
turn and turn about, they rescued each other, and paid unflinching attention 
to their mutual needs. 3 * 

Spears and arrows have been superseded by bazookas and machine 
Suns, but the basic infantry tactics of the Reservoir breakout were essen- 
t!a Uy those which served Xenophon and the Ten Thousand more than 
33 centuries ago. Organization, combat, training, spirit, and discipline 
tabled the Marines, like the Hellenes before them, to overcome 
numerical odds and fight their way over Asiatic mountain roads to the 

The over-all strategic effects of the Reservoir campaign, as sum- 
^amedby the Marine Corps Board Study, were as follows: 

it "Quotations in this section, except when otherwise noted, are from the MCB Study, 
"-£-125-1 27. 

Tl ^Sfnophon, Anabasis of Cyrus, Henry C. Dakyns, trans., in F. R. B. Godolphin, 
Lh * Gretk Historians, (2 vols., New York, 1942), II, 297-298, 

The Chos'm Reservoir Campaign 

h Played a prominent part ... in enabling X Corps, a considerable seg- 
ment of the total UN forces in Korea, to be withdrawn from Hungnam as a 
combat effective force available for employment with the Eighth Army in 
South Korea at a time when that Army was retreating and was in critical 
need of a reinforcement. 

2. Were largely responsible for preventing reinforcement of CCF forces 
on Eighth Army front by 12 divisions during a period when such reinforce- 
ment might have meant to Eighth Army the difference between maintaining 
a foothold in Korea or forced evacuation therefrom, by being instrumental in 
rendering S>th CCF Army Group, a force of three corps of four divisions 
each, militarily noneffective for a minimum period of three months. 
That the breakout of the 1st Marine Division had affected American 
political and military policy at the highest levels was the assertion of an 
edicorial in Time. Referring ro what it termed the "Great Debate " in 
December 1950, as to whether American forces should be withdrawn 
from Korea, the news-maga2ine commented: 

When the Marines fought their way down to Hungnam through the 
"unconquerable Chinese hordes," and embarked for Pusan with their equip- 
ment, their wounded, and their prisoners, the war in Asia took on a different 
look. The news stories, pictures and newsreels of the Hungnam action con- 
tributed more to forming U. S. policy than all the words in the 1 'Great 
Debate," The nation — and the revitalized Eighth Army — now knows that 
U. S. fighting men will stay in Korea until a better place and a better oppor- 
tunity is found to punish Communist aggression. 35 
General Douglas MacArthur as cincunc, in his 11th report of 
operations of UN forces in Korea, submitted the following to the 
United Nations Organi2ation regarding the Chostn Reservoir opera- 

In this epic action, the Marine Division and attached elements of the 7th 
Infantry Division marched and fought over 60 miles in bitter cold along 3 
narrow, tortuous, ice-covered road against opposition of from six to eight 
Chinese Communist Force divisions which suffered staggering losses. Success 
was due in no small part to the unprecedented extent and effectiveness of air 
support. The basic element, however, was the high quality of soldierly 
courage displayed by the personnel of the ground units who maintained their 
integrity in the face of continuous attacks by numerically superior forces, 
consistently held their positions until their wounded had been evacuated, ana 
doggedly refused to abandon supplies and equipment to the enemy. 

United Nations Air Forces threw the bulk of their effort into close support 
of ground forces cutting their way through overwhelming numbers of Chinese 
Communists. The toll of the enemy taken by the United Nations aircraft 
contributed in large measure to the successful move of our forces from the 
Chosin Reservoir to the Hamhung area despite the tremendous odds against 

» Tip,,, Ivii, no. 9 (26 Feb 51). 

The Hungnam 


them. Air support provided by the United States Marine Air Force and Naval 
Aircraft in this beleaguered area, described as magnificent by the ground 
force commanders, represented one of the greatest concentrations of tactical 
air operations in history. 30 

Rear Admiral James H, Doyle attributed the successful evacuation 
a t Hungnam in large measure to the Marine breakout. Writing to 
General Smith several months later, he asserted that he had "filled in 
what has been a neglected page in the story of the Hungnam redeploy- 
ment. It is simply this: that the destruction of enemy forces wrought 
by the First Marine Division on the march down the hill was a major 
factor in the successful withdrawal; and that the destruction was so 
complete the enemy was unable to exert serious pressure at any time on 
die shrinking perimeter. To my mind, as I told you at Hungnam, the 
performance of the First Marine Division on that march constitutes 
°ne of the most glorious chapters in Marine Corps history." 87 

Letters of commendation were received by the 1st Marine Division 
from General Cates, CMC, General Shepherd, Admiral Joy, General 
Collins, Chief of Staff, USA, General Almond, and many other high- 
tanking military leaders. But for depth of feeling, for sincerity and 
er notion, there was no message which appealed more to the officers and 
^en of the Division than the concluding paragraph of this tribute 
from the commanding general who had guided their destinies with 

Oliver P. Smith: ^ ' J 

The performance of officers and men in this operation was magnificent. 
Rarely have all hands in a division participated so intimately in the combat 
phases of an operation. Every Marine can be justly proud of his participation, 
m Korea, Tokyo and Washington there is full appreciation of the remarkable 
feat of the division. With the knowledge of the determination, professional 
competence, heroism, devotion to duty, and self-sacrifice displayed by officers 
and men of this division, my feeling is one of humble pride. No division 
commander has ever been privileged to command a finer body of men. 88 

"°Gen Douglas MacArthur, CinCUNC, 11th Report of th$ Operations in Korea of 
united Nations Forces, 31 Jan St, See Appendix H for transcript of Presidential Unit 
Ration awarded to the IstMarDiv and the Distinguished Unit Citation awarded to the 

J R Adm J. H. Doyle Itr to MajGen O. P. Smith, 2 Mar 51. 
IstMarDiv memo 2J8-50, 19 Dec 50. 


Glossary of Technical Terms 
and Abbreviations 

Division Com- 
AtJmO — Administrative Order. 
AF— Air Force. 

^GC — Amphibious Force Flagship. 

AH— Hospital Ship. 

AuDelPlat— Air Delivery Platoon, 

AirO— Air Officer. 

AirSptSec — Air Support Section. 

AKA— Assault Cargo Ship. 

A KL-Cargo, Shipj Li g ht . 

AM — Minesweeper. 

Ar nphTracBn— Amphibian Tractor 

AmphTrkBn— Amphibian Truck Bat- 

AMS — Auxiliary Motor Mine- 

A NGLICO— Air and Naval Gunfire 

Liaison Company 

^PA— Assault Transport. 
v£Q — High Speed Transport. 
ARG- — Internal Combustion Engine 

Repair Ship. 

— ^Landing Craft Repair Ship. 
A «ndAmphBn— Armored Amphib- 

ian Battalion 
v^S— Salvage Vessel. 
A T— Antitank. 
^TF-^Ocean Tug, Fleet. 
A utoMaintCo— Automotive Mainte- 

nance Company. 
A WoSupCo— Automotive Supply 
- Company. 

^r— Battahon Landing Team. 


BuMed— Bureau of Medicine and 

C-A7- — Douglas Transport (same as 

CA — Heavy Cruiser. 
CCF— Chinese Communist Forces. 
CG- — Commanding General, 
CIG — Counter Intelligence Corps, 


CinCFE— Commander in Chief, Far 

CinCPacFlt — Commander in Chief, 

Pacific Fleet. 
CinCUNC— Commander in Chief, 

United Nations Command. 
CL— Light Cruiser. 
CO— Commanding Officer. 
Co — Company. 

ComFItAirWing — Commander Fleet 

Air Wing. 
ComNavFE — Commander Naval 

Forces Far East. 
ComPacFlt— Commander Pacific 


ComPhibGruOne — Commander Am- 
phibious Group One. 

ComSeventhFIt— Commander 
Seventh Fleet. 

ComUNBlockandCortFor— Com- 
mander United Nations Block- 
ade and Escort Force. 

CP — Command Post. 

CR— Command Report. 

C/S— Chief of Staff. 

CSG — Combat Service Group. 

CSUSA—Chief of Staff, U S. Army. 

CTF — Commander Task Force. 

CTG— Commander Task Group. 

CVE— Escort Aircraft Carrier. 



The Chus'm Reservoir Campaign 

CVL— Light Aircraft Carrier. 

DD — Destroyer. 

DDR— Radar Picket Destroyer. 

DE — Destroyer Escort. 
Det — Detachment, 
DMS— High Speed Minesweeper, 
DOW— Died of Wounds. 
EmbO — Embarkation Order. 
EmbO — Embarkation Officer. 
EngrBn — Engineer Battalion. 
EUSAK — Eighth U. S. Army in 

FABn — Field Artillery Battalion 
(USA) . 

FAC— Forward Air Controller. 

FEAF— Far East Air Force. 

FECOM— Far East Command. 

F4U — Chance- Vought "Corsair" 

FMFPac — Fleet Marine Force, Pa- 

FO — Forward Observer. 
FragOrder— Fragmentary Order. 
Fum&BathPlat— Fumigation and 

Bath Platoon. 
GHQ — General Headquarters. 
Gru — Group. 

H&SCo — Headquarters and Service 

HD — Historical Diary. 
Hedron — Headquarters Squadron. 
HMS— Her Majesty's Ship. 
HMAS — Her Majesty's Australian 


HMCS— Her Majesty's Canadian 

HMNZS— Her Majesty's New Zea- 
land Ship. 
H03S— Sikorsky Helicopter. 

HqBn— Headquarters Battalion. 
HQMC— Headc 

iquarters U. S. Marine 

InfDiv — Infantry Division (USA). 
Inrerv — Interview. 
ISUM — Intelligence Summary 
JANIS— Joint Army-Navy Intelli- 
gence Studies. 

JCS— Joint Chiefs of Staff. 
JMS— Japanese Minesweeper. 
JSPOG— Joint Strategic Plannir 
Operations Group, 

JTF — Joint Task Force. 
KIA— Killed in Action. 
KMC— Korean Marine Corps. 
Ln— Liaison, 

LSD— Landing Ship, Dock, 
LSM — Landing Ship, Medium. 
LSMR— Landing Ship, Medium- 

LST — Landing Ship, Tank, 
LSTH— Landing Ship, Tank- Casualty 

LSU— Landing Ship, Utility. 
Ltr— Letter. 

LVT — Landing Vehicle, Tracked. 
MAG — Marine Aircraft Group. 
MAW — Marine Aircraft Wing. 
MS— Ma nuscript , 
MedBn — Medical Battalion. 
MedAmbCo— Medical Ambulant* 

Company, USA. 
MIA — Missing in Action. 
MISD— Military Intelligence Servi^ 

Detachment (USA). 
MP— Military Police. 
MRO — Movement Report Office. 

MSR — Main Supply Route. 
MSTS— Military Sea Transport Serv- 

MTACS— Marine Tactical Air Con- 
trol Squadron. 

MTBn— Motor Transport Battalion. 

NavBchGru— Naval Beach Group. 

NavFE— Naval Forces Far East. 

NCO — Noncommissioned Officer. 

NK— North Korea (n). 

NKPA— North Korean People 

N.d.— Date not given. 

N.t.— Time not given. 

O— Officer; Order. 

OCMH— Office of the Chief of Mil'' 
tary History (USA). 

Glossary of Technical Terms and Abbreviations 363 

Ql — Operation Instruction. 
OpnO— Operation Order, 
QpnPlan— Operation Plan. 
OtdBn— Ordnance Battalion. 
°Y— Consolidated-VuUw Light Ob- 
servation Plane. 
PCEC— Escort Amphibious Control 
„ Vessel. 

PhtbGru — Amphibious Group. 

Periodic Intelligence Report. 
PLA— People's Liberation Army. 
Plat— Platoon. 

POL— Petroleum, Oil, Lubricants. 
"OR- — Periodic Operation Report. 
POW— Prisoner of War. 
QMPetDistCo — Quartermaster Petro- 
leum Distribution Company 

QMSubsistSupCo— Quartermaster 
Subsistence Supply Company 

^O— Douglas Transport (Navy and 
Marine designation of G47). 
£ C T— Regimental Combat Team. 
Kecon— Reconrj 
Reinf— Reinfoi^ , 
RktBn—Rocket Battalion. 
JM— Royal Marines. 
^OK— Republic of Korea. 
| fi; O File— Records and Orders File. 
HOICA— Republic of Korea Army. 
{pKN— Republic of Korea Navy, 
|jC— Supporting Arms Coordinator. 

^R—Special Action Report. 
^CAJAP— Shipping Control Author- 
ity, Japan. 

!*cDef— Secretary of Defense. 
iervBn— Service Battalion. 
SigBn— Signal Battalion. 
^SHepCo— Signal Repair Company. 
&1 tRpt— Situation Report. 

SP— Shore Party. 
SMS — Marine Supply Squadron. 
TAC — Tactical Air Coordinator; Tac- 
tical Air Commander. 
TACP — Tactical Air Control Party. 
Tacron— Tactical Air Control Squad- 

TADC— Tactical Air Direction Cen- 

T-AP— Transport Operated by 

TBM — General Motors "Avenger" 

Torpedo Bomber, 
TE— Task Element. 
T/E— Table of Equipment. 
Tel— Telephone Message. 
TF— Task Force. 
TG— Task Group. 
TkBn — Tank Battalion, 
Trk— Truck. 

T/O— Tabic of Organization. 
TU— Task Unit, 

UDT — Underwater Demolitions 

U/F— Unit of Fire. 
UN — United Nations. 
UNC— United Nations Command. 
URpt— Unit Report. 
USA— United States Army. 
USAF — United States Air Force. 
USMC— United States Marine Corps. 
USN— United States Navy, 
VMF — Marine Fighter Squadron. 
VMF(N)— All- Weather, Fighter 

VMO— Marine Observation Squad- 

VMR — Marine Transport Squadron. 
WD— War Diary. 
WD Sum—War Diary Summary. 
WIA— Wounded in Action. 
YMS— Motor Minesweeper, 


Task Organization 1st Marine Division 

In order to present a true picture of the Task Organization of the 1st Marine 
^'vision during its operations in northeast Korea the organization will be pre- 
sented for the following periods: 

I' Wonsan Landing (OpnO 16-50) 

2 - Advance to the Reservoir (OpnO 19-50) 

3- Movement south from Hagaru (OpnO 25-50) 
4. Hungnam Evacuation (OpnO 27-50) 

Task Organization Of 1st Marine Division For Wonsan 

Ij t Marine Division, (Reinf), FMF 

HcjBn, IstMarDiv, less dets 

163rd MISD, USA 
44lst CIC Det, USA 
lst SigBn, less dets 

Carrier Plat, FMF 

Det, 4th SigBn, USA 

2d SigRepUnit, USA 

Det, 205th SigRepCo, USA 
ls t ServBn, less dets 
!st OrdBn 
J st SPBn, less dets 

SPCommSec, IstSigBn 

Det, lst CSG 

Det, NavBchGru 1 
istMedBn, less dets 

2d Plat, 560thMedAmbCo, USA 
?th MTBn 
*st CSG, less dets 

1st Fum&BathPlat, FMF 

1st AirDelPlat, FMF 

Plat, 20th QMSubsistSupCo, 

Plat, 506th QMPetDisCo, USA 
NavBchGru 1, less dets 

Regimental Combat Team I 

1st Marines 

Det, 5th KMC Bn 

MajGen O, P, SMITH 
LtCol M, T. STARR 


LtCol C. L. BANKS 
LtCol O. L. BEALL 
LtCol H. P. CROWE 


Col. J. S. COOK 




The Chomi Reservoir Campaign 

Regimental Combat Team 1 — Continued 

Co C, 1st EngrBn 

CoC, 1st MTBn 

CoD, 1st McdBn 

Plat, IstArmdAmphBn 

Dct, IstSigBn 

FO & LnO Sees, 2/11 

LnDet, IstTkBn 

SP GruB 

Det, MP Co 

Det, 1st CSG 

Det, NavBchGru 1 

Regimental Combat Team 5 LtCol R. L. MURRAY 

5 th Marines 

Co A, 1st EngrBn 

Co D, 1st MTBn 

Co C, 1st MedBn 

Det, IstSigBn 

FO & LnO Sees, 1/11 

SPGru A 

Det, MP Co 

Det, 1st CSG 

Det, NavBchGru 1 

Regimental Combat Team 7 Col H, L. LITZENBERG 

7th Marines 
Det, 3d KMC Bn 
Co D, 1st EngrBn 
Co B, 1st MTBn 
Co D, 1st MedBn 
Plat, IstArmdAmphBn 
Det, IstSigBn 
FO&LnO Sees, 3/11 
LnDet, IstTkBn 
SP GraC 
Det, MP Co 
Det, 1st CSG 
Det, NavBchGru 1 

1 1 th Marines, Reinf Col J. H. BROWER 

BtryC,lst 4.5" RktBn 
1st AmphTrkCo, FMF 

1st Tank Battalion, less dets LtCol H. T. MILNE 

Sd KMC Battalion, less dets 

$tb KMC Battalion, less dets 

}J * AmphTracBn, FMF 

Reconnaissance Company, 1st Mar 


1st Marine Division 

LtCol E, F. WANN 


Task Organization For Advance To The Reservoir 

Maj Gen O. P. SMITH 

ls * Marine Division, Reinf, FMF 

HqBn, less dets 

163d MISD 

IstSigBn, Reinf, less dets 
IstServBn, Reinf, less dets 

Co A, 7th MTBn (less 1 plat) 
Det, 1st MTBn 
!st OrdBn 
IstMedBn, less dets 
ls t AmphTracBn 

Co B, 1st ArmdAmphBn (less 
1st Plat) 
?tfi MT Bn, less dets 
JstCSG, Reinf 

1st AmphTrkCo 

1st AirDetPlat 

1st Fum&Bath Plat 

Regimental Combat Team 1 

1st Marines 

CoD, 1st MedBn 

Co C, 1st TkBn 

Co C, Reinf, 1st EngrBn 

Det ( IstSigBn 

Det, IstServBn 


^mental Combat Team 7 

7th Marines 

ReconCo, IstMarDiv 




The Chos'in Reservoir Campaign 

Regimental Combat Team 7 — Continued 

1st MTBn, less dets 
Co D, Reinf, 1st EngrBn 
Co E, IstMedBn 
Det, IstSigBn 
Det, MP Co 
Det, IstServBn 

5th Marines 

Co A, Reinf, IsfEngrBn 
Co C, IstMedBn 
Co, IstMTBn 
Det, IstSigBn 
Det, MP Co 
Det, IstServBn 

J 1th Marines, Reinf, less dets Col J. H. BROWER 

Brry C, 1st 4.5" RktBn 

1st Tank Battalion, Reinf, less dets LtCol H. T. MILNE 
Tk Plat, SthMar 
Tk Plat, 7thMar 

1st Engineer Battalion, less dets LtCol J. H. PARTRIDGE 


3. Task Organization For Movement South From Hagaru 

(Except where noted the organization remained the 
same for the movement south from Koto-ri.) 

1st Marine Division, Reinf, FMF MajGen O. P. SMITH 

HqBn, Reinf, less dets 

163d MISD 

131st CIC 
IstSigBn, Reinf, less dets 
1st ServBn, Reinf, less dets 

Co A, 7thMTBn, less dets 

AutoSup Co, IstMTBn 

AutoMaint Co, IstMTBn 
IstOrdBn, less dets 
IstMedBn, Reinf, less dets 

1st Fum&Bath Plat 

2d Plat, 506'thMedAmbCo, USA 
(under opn control X Corps) 

Task Organization 1st Marine Division 

1st Marine Division, Rein}, FMF— Continued 

1st CSG, Reinf 

7thMTBn, less dcts 

Co A, IstAmphTracBn 

1st AirDel Plat 

IstTkBn, less dets 


(under opn control 3dInfDiv) 

Regimental Combat Team 5 

5th Marines, less Tk Plat 
Btry D, 

Hth Marines, Reinf, less dets 
4/11, less Btry L 
Det, 96th FABn, USA 


Det, IstSigBn 
Tk Co, 31st Inf, USA 
Prov Plat, IstTkBn 
Co A, IstEngrBn 

Det, IstEngrBn 

4 1 Commando, RM 

Division Train 2 
Traffic Plat, MP Co 
Det, 513th TrkCo, USA 
Det, IstMTBn 

Co D, 10thEngr(C)Bn, USA 

Det, IstMedBn 

Det, IstServBn 

Det, IstSigBn 

Det, 515th Trk Co, USA 

Regimental Combat Team 7 

7th Marines, less Tk Plat 

Btry L, 4/11 

ProvBn, 31st Inf, USA 
Det, IstSigBn 
CoD, IstTkBn 
Co D, Reinf, IstEngrBn 
Division Train 1 
Det, HqBn, IstMarDiv 


(released to RCT 
through Koto-ri) 

(released to RCT 
through Koto-ri) 

on passage 

(released to RCT 1 on passage 
through Koto-ri) 

LtCol H. T, MILNE 


(released to RCT 1 on arrival 

LtCol C. L. BANKS 


The Chosin Reservoir Campaign 

Regimental Combat Team 7— Continued 

Det, Hq X Corps 
Det, IstScrvBn 

Det, IstOrdBn 

Dec, 7thMTBn 

Det, X Corps Ord Co, USA 
MP Co, IstMarDiv, less dets 
IstMTBn, less dets 
Det, IstSigBn 
AirSptSec, MTACS-2 
Det, IstMedBn 

Regimental Combat Team 1 Col L. B. PULLER 

1st Marines, less 3/1 and 

Tie Plat 
2/31, Reinf, USA 

Cos A & B, 7thMTBn 
Co C, Reinf, IstMTBn 
Det, IstSigBti 
Det, IstServBn 
Det, HqBn, IstMarDiv 
Det, IstOrdBn 
Cos B & D, IstMedBn 
Reeon Co, IstMarDiv 
Det, lstEngr Bn 
Det, 7thMar 

Co B, Reinf, IstTkBn 
Misc elms, USA 

4. Task Organization For Hungnam Evacuation 

2/11, less Btry D 
Btry L, 4/11 

Det, 41 Commando, RM 

(released to 41 Commando on piss^ 

Koto-ri by RCT 5) 

Forward Echelon 

Main Body, 1st Marine Division, 
Reinf, FMP, less dets 

MajGen O. P. SMITH 


1st Marine Division 

Regimental Combat Team 7— Continued 

Co A, 7th MTBn 
Dec, IstSigBn 
IstMedBn, Reinf 
1st Fum&Bath Plat 


Team 5 


5 th Marines 

4l Commando, RM 
Co A, IstEngrBn 
Det, IstSigBn 

Regimental Combat Team 1 

1st Marines 

Co C, IstEngrBn 

Tk Plat, 5 th Mar 
Tk Plat, 7th Mar 
Det, IstSigBn 

H<jBn, Reinf, less dets 

IstSigBn, less dets 
163d MISD, USA 
181st CICDet, USA 

l lth Marines, Reinf, less dets LtCol C. 

Btry C, 1st 4.5" RktBn 
1st EngrBn, less dets 
7thMTBn, less dets 

^tSPBn, less dets 

istAmpkTracBn, Reinf, FMF 

Co A, Reinf, IstAmphTrkBn, 

Co B, IstArmdAmphBn, FMF 


LtCol H. P. CROWE 
LtCol E, F. WANN 


Naval Task Organization 

K W onsan Landing, 
JTF 7 * 
TF 90 Attack Force 
TG 91.2 Landing Force (1st 

TE 90.00 Flagship Element 

Mount McKtnley 1 AGC 
TE 90,01 Tactical Air Control 

TU 90.01.1 TacRon 1 
TU 90.01.2 TacRon 3 
TE 90.02 Naval Beach Group 
TU 90.02.1 Headquarters Unit 
TU 90.02.2 Beachmaster Unit 
TU 90.02,3 Boat Unit One 
TU 90.02.4 Amphibious Con- 
struction Bn. 
TU 90.02.5 Underwater 
Demolitions Team Unit 
TG 90.1 Administrative Group 
TE 90.10 Flagship Element 

Eldorado I AGC 

TU 90.1.1 Medical Unit 
Consolation 1 AH 

1ST 898* 

1ST 975* 2 LST 

TU 90.1.2 Repair and Salvage 
C onset Per 

Gimston Hall 
Fort Marion 
Corns tock 
Plus other units as assigned 
TU 90.1.3 Service Unit 
15 LSU 

3 ATF 
1 ARS 
1 ARL 

5 LSD 

VAdm A. D. Struble 
RAdm J. H. Doyle 
MajGen O. P. Smith 

Cdr T, H. Moore 

Capt W. T. Singer 

LCdr M. C. Sibisky 
LCdr H. E. Hock 
Lcdr M. T. Jacobs, Jr. 

LCdr W. R. McKinney 

RAdm L. A. Thackery 
Capt J. B. Stefonek 

Capt P. W. Mothersill 

LCdr J. D. 

374 The Chosin Reservoir \ 

1. Woman Landing — Continued 

TG 90.2 Transport Group Capt V. R. Roane 

TE 90.21 Transport Division Capt S. G. Kelly 




Okanogan 4 APA 



Titan id 


Archenar 5 AKA 

Marine Phoenix 1 T-AP 
TE 90.22 Transport Division Capt A. E. Jarrell 

George Clymer 

Bexar 4 APA 

U nion 




Montague 5 AKA 

Aiken Victory 1 T-AP 
Robin Goodfellow 

1 Commercial freighter 
TG 90.3 Tractor Group Capt R. C. Peden 

Gunston Hall** 
Fort Marion** 

Colonial** 5 LSD 

LST 1123 

LST 715 

LST 742 

LST 799 

LST 802 

LST 845 

LST 883 

LST 898 

LST 914 

LST 973 

LST 975 

LST 1048 12 LST 


Naval Task Organization 

h Wonsan Landing-— Continued 
TG po.4 Control Group LCdr C. Allmon 

PCEC 896 1 PCEC 

TU 90.4.1 Control Unit Lt S. C. Pinksen 


Waniuck 1 APD 

TU 90.4.2 Control Unit Lt A. C. Ansorce 

Horace A. Bass 1 APD 
TG 95.6 Mincsweeping and Capt R. T. Spofford 

Protection Group 

Collett 1 DD 

Diachenko I APD 


Endhott 2 DMS 


Incredible 2 AM 


HMS Mounts Bay 
HMNZS Pnkahi 
IIMNZS Pulira 
LaGrandiere (French) 


8 Japanese mine sweepers 
4 Japanese mine destruc- 
tion and buoying vessels 

Plus other units assigned 
TG 90.6 Reconnaissance Group Cdr S. C. Small 
Horace A. Bass 
Wantnck 2 APD 


UDT 3 2 UDT 

TG 96.8 Escort Carrier Group RAdm R. W, Ruble 
Badoeng Strait 
Sicily 2 CVE 

George K. Mackenzie 
Ernest G. Small 

Rowan 6 DD 


The Chosin Reservoir Campaign 

1. Woman Landing — Continued 
TG 95.2 Gunfire Support Group 

Toledo 3 CA 

HMS Ceylon 1 CL 

HMS Cockade 
HMCS, Athabaskan 
HMAS Warramunga 

LbMK 401*** 
* Reported to CTG 95.2 upon ar- 
rival at objective area. 
** Carrying 3 LSU. 
*** Reported to CTF 90 when re- 
leased by CTG 95.2. 
2. Hungnam Evacuation 
TF 90 Amphibious Force, Naval 
Forces Far East 
TE 90.00 Flagship Element 

Mount McKhiley 
TE 90,01 Tactical Air Control Ele- 
TacRon ONE 
TE 90.02 Repair and Salvage Unit 

RAdm G. R. Hartman 


2 ARS 

2 APD 

Kermit Roosevelt 
TE 90.03 Control 
PCEC 882 
TG 90.2 Transport Group 
TE 90.21 Transport Element 

Noble 3 APA 



Montague 3 AKA 


Diacbenko 2 APD 


RAdm J. H. Doyle 

Cdr R. W. Arndt 
Cdr L, C. Con well 

LCdt C. Allmon 

Capt S. G. Kelly 
Capt A. E. Jarrell 

Naval Task Organization 

2 - Hungnam Evacuation— Continued 

Port Mar/on* 

Catamount* 3 LSD 

*3 LSU embarked 
1ST 742 
LST 715 
LST 845 
LST 802 
LST 883 
LST 799 
LST 898 
LST 914 
LST 975 
LST 973 

LST 1048 1 1 LST 

TG Tjw firc Supp ° rt Group R At,m R ' R Hil ' eilkoctter 

Rochester 2 CA 


Charles S, Sperry 

Forrest Royal 4 DD 

LSMR 401 
LSMR 403 

LSMR 404 3 LSMR 

DD as assigned from TG 95.2 
9 5.2 Blockade, Escort and RAdm J. M. Higgins 

Mineswceping Group 
Rochester CA 

Wallace L. Lind 

Borie 4 DD 






Glendale 6PF 

TG 95.6 Minesweeping Group Capt R. T. Spofford 


Doyle 2 DMS 

Incredible AM 

Heron 2 AMS 

378 The Chos'm Reservoir Campaign 

2. Hmignam Evacuation — Continued 

TG 96.8 Escort Carrier Group RAdm R. W. Ruble 

Badoeng Strait 

Sktly 2 CVH 

Bataan CVL 


John A. Bole 



Ernest G. Small 
Brinkley Bass 

Arnold /, Isbell 7 DD 

Hanson DDR 
Vessels attached TF 90 for opera- 
tional control. 

Missouri BB 
Duncan DDR (from 10 Dec) 
Foss DE (from 9 Dec) 


AH (from 2 Dec) 


Effective Strength of 
1st Marine Division i 


and USN 

U. S. 




8 Oct 50 





2t> Oct 50 





2 7 Nov 50 





5 Dec 50 





8 Dec 50 





*5 Dec 50 





IstMarDiv SAR, annex A (G-l), 4. 



1st Marine Division Casualties 1 





l6 O ct5 

^OctSO... . 


„ , , 

- f 



gOctjo. ........ 




?Nov50_ . 
9Nov 5 a._ 

» . ^ _ J*-' — _ — — , 

l -, v 




2<5 Nov50. . . 

-« — — * - 

_ _ 

- — — — 













382 The Ckos'm Reservoir Campaign 






























2Rcc50^ — — — — — — 

3Dec50- _ - — . 


7Dcc50 --- 


9Dec50 -__ 



13Dec50- m — 


1 "t ' )cc50 - 

■ ■* *i 


_ _ _ ^ , 






21Dec50 -- 







Xotal ------ — 






1 IstMarDiv SAR, annex E, appendix 2 (Casualty Reporting Section, 12Jan51); Smith, 
Notm, 1147-1149. 


Command and Staff List 
8 October— 15 December 

1st Marine Division 

Commanding General MajGcn Oliver P. Smith 

Assistant Division Commander BrigGcn Edward A. Craig 

Chief of Staff Col Gregon A. Williams 

Deputy Chief of Staff Col Edward W, Snedeker 

G -l Col Harvey S. Walseth (to 28 Nov) 

LtCol Bryghte D. Godbold 

j**8 Col Bankson T. Holcomb, Jr. 

r-3 Cot Alpha L, Dowser, Jr. 

G -4 Col Francis A. McAIister 

Special Stuff 

Adjutant Maj Philip J. Costello 

Air Officer Maj James N. Cupp 

Artillery officer Col James H. Browcr (to 30 Nov) 

LtCol Carl A. Youngdale 

Amphibian Tractor Officer LtCol Erwin F, Wann, Jr. 

Armored Amphibian Officer LtCol Francis H. Cooper 

Chaplain Cdr Robert H. Schwyhart (ChC), USN 

Chemical Warfare and Radiological 

Defense Officer Maj John H. Blue 

Dental Officer Capt Mack Meradith (DC), USN 

Embarkation Officer Maj Jules M, Rouse 

Engineer Officer LtCol John H. Partridge 

Exchange Officer Capt Wilbur C. Conley 

F ood Director Maj Norman R. Nickerson 

3*etar Col John A. White 

Historical Officer 2dLt John M. Patrick 

j-egal Officer LtCol Albert H. Schierman 

Motor Transport Officer Maj Henry W. Seeley 

Naval Gunfire Officer LtCol Loren S. Frascr 

Ordnance Officer Capt Donald L. Shenaut 

Provost Marshal Capt John H. Griffin 

Public Information Officer Capt Michael C. Capraro (to 6 Nov) 

Maj Carl E. Stahley 

Shore Party Officer LtCol Henry P. Crowe 

Signal Officer LtCol Albert Creal 

Special Services Officer Capt Raymond H. Spuhler (to 29 Nov) 

LtCol John M. Bathum 


384 The Cbosin Reservoir Campaign 

Supply Officer Col Gordon S. Hendricks 

Surgeon Capt Eugene R. Hering (MC) f USN 

Tank Officer LtCol Harry T. Milne 

Attached Units 

Commanding Officer, 163d Military 
Intelligence Specialist Detachment, 

USA Capt Fujio F. Asano, USA 

Commanding Officer, 181st Counter 
Intelligence Corps Detachment, 

USA Maj Millard E, Dougherty, USA 

Commanding Officer, 4 1st 
Independent Commando, 

Royal Marines LtCol Douglas B. Drysdalc, RM 

Headquarters Battalion 

Commanding Officer LtCol Marvin T. Starr 

Commanding Officer, 

Headquarters Company Maj Frederick Simpson 

Commanding Officer, 

Military Police Company Capt John H. Griffin 

Commanding Officer, 

Reconnaissance Company IstLt Ralph B. Crossman (to 23 Nov) 

Maj Walter Gall 

1st Marines 

Commanding Officer Col Lewis B. Puller 

Executive Officer LtCol Robert W. Rickert 

S-l Capt William G. Reeves 

S-2 Capt Stone W. Quillian 

S-3 Maj Robert E, Lorigan 

S-4 Maj Thomas T. Grady 

Commanding Officer, 

Headquarters Company Capt Frank P. Tatum 

Commanding Officer, 4.2-inch 

Mortar Company Capt Frank ). Faureck 

Commanding Officer, Antitank 

Company Capt George E, Petro 

1st Battalion, 1st Marines 

Commanding Officer LtCol Jack Hawkins (to 7 Nov) 

LtCol Donald M. Schmuck 

Executive Officer Maj Maurice H. Clarke 

Commanding Officer, Headquarters and 

Service Company Capt William B, Hopkins 

Commanding Officer, A Company . . .Capt Robert H. Barrow 
Commanding Officer, B Company , . .Capt Wesley Noren 

Commanding Officer, C Company . . . Capt Robert P. Wray 
Commanding Ofiicer, Weapons 
Company Maj William T. Dales, Jr. 

24 Battalion, 1st Mamies 

Commanding Officer LtCol Allan Sutttcr 

Executive Officer Maj Clarence J. Mabry 

Commanding Officer, He ad quarters 

and Service Company Capt Raymond Dewees, Jf, 

Commanding Officer, D Company . . .Capt Welby W. Cronk 
Commanding Officer, E Company , . .Capt Charles D, Frederick (to 6 Nov) 

IstLt Harold B, Wilson (6-17 Nov) 
Capt Jack A, Smith 
Commanding Officer, F Company . , .Capt Goodwin C. Groff 
Commanding Officer, Weapons 

Company Maj Whitman S. Dartley (to t6 Nov) 

Capt William A. Kerr 

3d Battalion, 1st Marines 

Commanding Officer LtCol Thomas L. Ridge 

Executive Officer Maj Reginald R. Myers 

Commanding Officer, Headquarters 

and Service Company Capt Thomas E. McCarthy 

Commanding Officer, G Company , . . Capt George C. Westover (to 30 Oct) 

Capt Carl L. Sitter 
Commanding Officer, H Company . . .Cipt Clarence E. Corley 
Commanding Officer, I Company . . , IstLt Joseph R. Fisher 
Commanding Officer, Weapons 

Company Maj Edwin H. Simmons 

5tb Marines 

Commanding Officer LtCol Raymond L. Murray 

Executive Officer LtCol Joseph L, Stewart 

j-j- 1 IstLt Alton C. Weed 

S-2 , Maj William C. Easrerline 

S -3 Maj Theodore J. Spiker 

M Maj Harold Wallace 

Commanding Officer, Headquarters 

and Service Company Capt Harold G. Schrier (to 9 Oct) 

Capt Jack E. Hawthorn 

Commanding Officer, 4.2-inch 

Mortar Company IstLt Robert M. Lucy 

Commanding Officer, Antitank 

Company IstLt Almarion S, Bailey 

1st Battalion, 5th Marines 

Commanding Officer LtCol George R, Newton (to 17 Nov) 

LtCol John W. Stevens, II 

386 The Chos'm Reservoir Campaign 

Executive Officer Maj Merlin R. Olson 

Commanding Officer, Headquarters 

and Service Company Capt Walter E. G. Godenius 

Commanding Officer, A Company . . .Capt John R. Stevens (to 17 Nov) 

Capt James B. Heater 
Commanding Officer, B Company . . .Capt Francis I. Fenton (to 13 Oct) 

IstLt John R. Hancock 
Commanding Officer, C Company . . . IstLt Poul F. Pedersen (to 6 Nov) 

Capt Jack R. Jones 

Commanding Officer, Weapons 
Company Maj John W. Russell 

2d Battalion, 5th Marines 

Commanding Officer LtCol Harold S. Roise 

Executive Officer LtCol John W. Stevens, II (to 12Nov) 

Maj Glen E. Martin (13-21 Nov) 
Maj John L. Hopkins 

Commanding Officer, Headquarters 
and Service Company IstLt David W. Walsh (to 8 Oct) 

Capt Franklin B. Mayer 
Commanding Officer, D Company , . .Capt Samuel S. Smith 
Commanding Officer, E Company . . .Capt Samuel Jaskilka (to 12 Dec) 

Capt Lawrence W. Hcnke, Jr. 
Commanding Officer, F Company . . .Capt Uel D. Peters (to 6 Dec) 

IstLt Charles "H" Dalton 

Commanding Officer, Weapons 

Company Maj James W. Bateman (to 10 Oct) 

Maj Glen E. Martin (11 Oct-12 Nov) 
Maj James W. Bateman (13-21 Nov) 
Maj Glen E. Martin 

3d Battalion, 5th Marines 

Commanding Officer LtCol Robert D. Taplett 

Executive Officer , Maj John J. Canney (to 28 Nov) 

Maj Harold W. Swain 

Commanding Officer, Headquarters 

and Service Company Capt Roland A. Marbaugh (to 4 Dec) 

Capt Raymond H. Spuhler 
Commanding Officer, G Company . . .IstLt Charles D. Mize (to 17 Nov) 

Capt Chester R. Hermanson (18 Nov- 
2 Dec) 

IstLt Charles D. Mize 
Commanding Officer, H Company . . . IstLt Donald E. Watterson (to 8 Nov) 

Capt Harold B. Williamson 
Commanding Officer, I Company .... Capt Harold G. Schrier 

Command and Stiff List 387 

Commanding Officer, Weapons 

Company Maj Murray Ehrlich (to 18 Nov) 

Maj Harold W. Swain (19-28 Nov) 
IstLt Hubert J. Shovlin 

Tib Marines 

Commanding Officer Col Homer L. Litzcnberg, Jr. 

Executive Officer LtCol Frederick R. Dowsett (to 7 Dec) 

LtCol Raymond G. Davis 

f- 1 Capt John R. Grove 

Capt Donald R. France (to 6 Dec) 

rS Maj Henry J, Woessner, II 

S-4 Maj David L. Me!! (to 22 Nov) 

Maj Maurice E. Roach 

Commanding Officer, Headquarters 

and Service Company Capt Nicholas L. Shields (to 3 Dec) 

Maj Walter T. Warren (4-7 Dec) 1 
Maj Rodney V. Reigard 2 

Commanding Officer, 4.2-inch 

Mortar Company Maj Stanley D, Low (to 2 Nov) 

IstLt Gordon Vincent (3-18 Nov) 
Maj Rodney V. Reigard 

Commanding Officer, Antitank 

Company IstLt Earl R. DeLong (to 20 Oct) 

Maj Walter T. Warren (21 Oct-S Dec) 
IstLt Earl R. DeLong 

1st Battalion, 1th M 

Commanding Officer LtCol Raymond G. Davis (to 7 Dec) 

Maj Webb D. Sawyer 

Executive Officer Maj Raymond V. Frtdrich 

Commanding Officer, Headquarters 

and Service Company Capt Elmer L. Starr (to 22 Nov) 

IstLt Wilbert R. Gaul 
;r, A Company . . .Capt David W. Banks (to 20 Nov) 
IstLt Eugenous M. Hovatter 
; Officer, B Company , . .Capt Myron E. Wilcox, Jr. (to 27 Nov) 
IstLt Joseph R. Kurcaba (27 Nov- 

IstLt William W. Taylor 
Commanding Officer, C Company . , .Capt William E. Shea (to 16 Nov) 

Capt John F. Morris 

Commanding Officer, Weapons 
Company Maj William E. Vorhies 

J Additional duty. 
Additional duty. 

2d BaUd'wn, 

Executive; Officer 

Commanding Officer, Headquarters 

and Service Company 

Commanding Officer, D Company . . 

, lib Mamies 

,Maj Webb D. Sawyer (to 9 Nov) 
LtCol Randolph S. D. Lockwood 
.Maj Roland B. Carey (to 9 Nov) 
Maj Webb D. Sawyer (10 Nov-8 Dec) 
Maj James F, Lawrence, Jr. 

Commanding Officer, Weapons 

.Capt Walter R. Anderson 

.Capt Milton A. Hull (to 28 Nov) 

lstLt James D. Hammond, Jr. 
, Capt Walter D. Phillips, Jr. (to 28 Nov) 

lstLt Raymond O. Ball (28 Nov) 

lstLt Robert T. Bey 
.Capt Elmer J. Zorn (to 6 Nov) 

Capt William E. Barber (7 Nov-3 Dec) 

lstLt John M. Dunne (3-6 Dec) 

LstLt Welton R. Abell 

.Capt Harry L. Givens, Jr. (to 12 
Maj Joseph L. Abel (13-19 Nov) 

3d Botlaliott, 7th Marines 

Commanding Officer, Headquarters 

and Service Company . , , 

Commanding Officer, G Company , 

.Maj Maurice E. Roach (to 10 Nov) 
LtCol William F. Harris (11 Nov- 

6 Dec) 
Maj Warren Morris 
.Maj Warren Morris (to 6 Dec) 
Maj Jefferson D. Smith, Jr. 

Commanding Officer, I Company 

.Capt Eric R. Haars (to 29 Nov) 
.Capt Thomas E, Cooney (to 27 Nov) 
Capt Eric R. Haars (29 Nov-3 Dec) 
lstLt George R, Earnest 
EI Company . . .lstLt Howard H, Harris (to 11 Nov) 
Capt Leroy M. Cooke (12-27 Nov) 
lstLt Howard H. Harris (27 Nov- 
1 Dec) 

lstLt Harold J. Fitzgeorge (1-5 Dec) 
2dLt Minard P. Newton 
Capt Richard H. Sengewald (to 14 Oct) 
1 stLt William E. Johnson ( 1 5 Oct- 

3 Dee) 
lstLt Alfred I. Thomas 

Command and Staff List 389 

Commanding Officer. Weapons 

Company Maj Jefferson D, Smith (to 5 Dec) 

IstLt Austin S. Parker (6-10 Dec) 
IstLt Robert E. Hill 

11th Marbles 

Commanding Officer Col James H. Brower (to 30 Nov) 

LtCol Carl A, Youngdale 

executive Officer LtCol Carl A. Youngdale (to 30 Nov) 

r- 1 Maj Floyd M, McCorkle 

{ 2 Capt William T. Phillips 

n LtCol James O. Appleyard 

P Maj Donald V. Anderson 

Commanding Officer, 

Headquarters Battery Capt Albert H. Wunderly (to 7 Nov) 

Capt Clarence E. Hixson (1 5-25 Nov) 
IstLt William C. Patton 

Commanding Officer, 

Service Battery Maj Donald V, Anderson (to 16 Nov) 

IstLt Joseph M. Brent 

commanding Officer, 
^ttery C, 1st 4.5-inch 

docket Battalion IstLt Eugene A. Bushe 

1st Battalion, 11th Marines 

Commanding Officer LtCol Ransom M. Wood (to 15 Nov) 

I, LtCol Harvey A, Feehan 

^ecutive Officer Maj Francis R. Schlesingex 

L °mmanding Officer, 

Headquarters Battery Capt James W, Brayshay (to 25 Nov) 

^mmanding Officer, Service Battery . .IstLt Kenneth H. Quelch 

Commanding Officer, A Battery Capt James D. Jordan 

Commanding Officer, B Battery Capt Arnold C. Hoffstetter (to 8 Oct) 

r Capt Gilbert N. Powell 

commanding Officer, C Battery Capt William J. Nichols, Jr. 

2d Battalion, 11 th Marines 

Commanding Officer LtCol Merritt Adelman 

^ecutive Officer Maj Donald E. Noll (to 25 Oct) 

_ Maj Neal G. Newell 

Commanding Officer, 

* Headcpiarters Battery Capt George J. Batson 

Commanding Officer, Service Battery .Capt Herbert R. Merrick, Jr. 
Commanding Officer, D Battery ... Capt Andrew J, Strohmenger (to 8 Dec) 
„ Capt Richard E. Roacli 

Commanding Officer, E Battery Capt John C. McClelland, Jr. 

ling Officer, F Battery Capt George J. Kovich, Jr. (to 19 Nov) 

IstLt Howard A. Blancheri 

390 The Cbosin Reservoir Campaign 

3d Battalion, 1 1th Marines 

Commanding Officer Maj Francis F. Parry 

Executive Officer Maj Norman A. Miller, Jr. 

Commanding Officer, 
Headquarters Battery IstLt Michael B. Weir (to 11 Nov) 

IstLt Eugene H. Brown (12-18 Nov) 

IstLt John J. Brackett 
Commanding Officer, Service Battery Capt Robert A. Thompson (to 17 Qw| 

Capt Ernest W. Payne (18 Oct-30 No*) 

Capt Samuel A. Hannah 
Commanding Officer, G Battery Capt Samuel A. Hannah (to 30 Nov) 

Capt Ernest W. Payne 
Commanding Officer, H Battery Capt Benjamin S. Read (to 8 Dec) 

IstLt Wilber N. Herndon 
Commanding Officer, I Battery Capt John M, McLaurin, Jr. (to 30 No 1 '' 

Capt Robert T. Patterson 

4ih Battalion, 11th Marines 

Commanding Officer Maj William McRcynolds 

Executive Officer Maj Thomas M. Coggins (to 8 Nov) 

Commanding Officer, 

Headquarters Battery Capt Charles S. Cummings (to 25 Od) 

Capt Paul L. Hirt 
Commanding Officer, Service Battery Capt Armand G. Daddazio 
Commanding Officer, K Battery IstLt Robert C. Messman (to 27 Nov) 

IstLt Robert C. Parrott (28 Nov- 
11 Dec) 

Capt Arthur D, Challacombe 

Commanding Officer, L Battery Capt Lawrence R. Cloern 

Commanding Officer, M Battery Capt Vernon W. Shapiro 

1st Amphibian Tractor Battalion 

Commanding Officer LtCol Erwin F, Wann, Jr. 

Executive Officer Maj Arthur J. Barrett 

Commanding Officer, 

Headquarters Company Capt Frank E. Granucci 

Commanding Officer, A Company . , . Maj James P. Treadwcll 
Commanding Officer, B Company , . . Capt Russell Hamlet 
Commanding Officer, C Company . . .Maj Arthur J. Noonan 

1st Armored Amphibian Battalion 

Commanding Officer LtCol Francis H. Cooper 

Executive Officer Maj Richard G. Warga 

Commanding Officer, 

Headquarter Company Capt Roger B. Thompson 


Commanding Officer, 

Service Company Capt Rex Z. Michael, Jr. 

Commanding Officer, A Company . . . Capt Bernard G. Thobe 

. . .Capt Lewis E. Bolts 


Commanding Officer , . . , 

**ecutive Officer 

Commanding Officer, 

Headquarters Company 
Commanding Officer, 

Maintenance Company 
Commanding Officer, 

Supply Company 

commanding Officer, 

Stipp ort Company 

.Col John H. Cook, Jr. 
.LtCol Edward A. Clark 

.Capt Francis L. Miller 

.Maj Edward H. Voorhees 

, , Maj Donald B. Cooley, Jr. 
manding Officer, Truck Company Capt John A. Pearson (to 11 Nov) 

2dLt Alan G. Copp (11-30 Nov) 
Capt Jack W, Temple 

Commanding Officer, 1st Fumigation 

a od Bath Company 1 st 

commanding Officer, 1st Air Delivery 

Plat °°n Capt Hersel D. C. Blasingame 

- - - 

Commanding Officer 
'^ecutive Officer . . . 
Commanding Officer, 
headquarters Company 

Commanding Officer, 
Setvice Company 

Commanding Officer, A 


■landing Officer, B Company 
commanding Officer, C Company 

^mmanding Officer, D i 

LtCo! John H, Partridge 
.Maj Richard M. Elliott 

. . . .Capt James H. McRoberts (to 20 Nov) 
Maj Hewitt A. Snow 
Opt Edward B. Newton 

. . . .Maj James W. Mclllwain (to 22 Nov) 
Capt Philip A. Terrell, Jr. 
. . .Capt George W. King (to 2 Dec) 

Capt William R. Gould 
. . .Capt Orville L. Bibb 
. . . Capt Lester G. Harmon (to 1 2 Nov) 

IstLt Ronald L. Glendinning 
. . .Capt Byron C. Turner 

1st Medkal Battalion 

S°mmanding Officer Cdr Howard A. Johnson, USN 

^cutive Officer Cdr William S. Francis, USN 

-°mmandine Officer, Headquarters 

Cdr William S. Francis, USN 

°mmanding Officer, Headq 
a °d Service Company . , . . 


392 The Chomi Reservoir Campaign 

Commanding Officer, A Company . , , .Cdr Byron E. Bassham, USN 
Commanding Officer, B Company .... LCdr James A. Kaufman, USN 
Commanding Officer, C Company .... Cdr Harold A. Streit, USN 
Commanding Officer, D Company .... LCdr Gustave J. Anderson, USN . 
Commanding Officer, E Company .... LCdr John H. Cheffey, USN (to 15 QK 

Lt (jg) Ernest N. Graver, 

LCdr Charles K. Holloway, USN 

1st Motor Transport Battalion 

Commanding Officer , LtCol Olin L, Beall 

Executive Officer Maj John R. Barrciro, Jr. 

Commanding Officer, Headquarters and 

Service Company , Capt George B. Loveday 

Commanding Officer, A Company . . . Capt Arthur W. Ecklund 
Commanding Officer, B Company . , . Capt James C, Camp, Jr, 
Commanding Officer, C Company , . . Capt Garfield M, Randall (to 30 Nov) 

IstLt Norman E. Slow 
Commanding Officer, D Company . . . Capt Bernard J. Whitclock (9 Dec) 

IstLt Philip R. Hade 

Commanding Officer, Automotive 

Maintenance Company Maj Edward L. Roberts 

Commanding Officer, Automotive 

Supply Company IstLt Mildridge E. Mangum 

Commanding Officer, Amphibian 

Truck Company, FMF 3 Capt John Bookhout 

1st Ordnance Battalion 

Commanding Officer Maj Lloyd O. Williams 

Executive Officer Maj Samuel A. Johnstone, Jr. 

Commanding Officer, 

Headquarters Company Capt Theodore Tunis (to 13 Nov) 

Capt Gordon H. Moore 

Commanding Officer, 

Ordnance Supply Company Capt Russel S, LaPointe (to 5 Dec) 

IstLt Victor F. Brown 

Commanding Officer, 

Ammunition Company Capt Harvey W. Gagner (to 30 Nov) 

IstLt Charles H, Miller 

Commanding Officer, Ordnance 

Maintenance Company Capt George L. Williams 

1st Service Battalion 

Commanding Officer LtCol Charles L. Banks 

Executive Officer Maj John R, Stone 

' Redesignated Company A, 1st Amphibian Truck Battalion, 15 Nov. 

Headquarters Company 
Commanding Officer, 
Service Company 


Jfnmanding Officer, 
Support Company 

. . . , 

Staff List 393 

Capt Morse "L" Holladay 

Capt Robert A. Morehead 

Capt Richard W. Sinclair (to 27 Oct) 

Capt Thomas M, Sagar 

1st Shore Party Battalion 

LtCoL Henry P. Crowe 

LtCol Horace H.Figuers 

jnrnatiding Officer, Headquarters and 

Service Company Capt William T. Miller 

^mmanding Officer, A Company , 

Commanding Officer 
^ecutive Officer . , . 

^mmanding Officer, B Company 
^mnianding Officer C Company 


Maj William L. Batchelor (to 22 Nov) 
Capt Nathaniel H, Carver 
Maj Henry Brzezinski 
Maj George A, Smith (to 24 Nov) 
Maj Murray F. Rose 

^minariding Officer . 

^ecutive Officer 

^Wianding Officer, 
"cad quarters Company . , . . . 

landing Offi cer, 


Maj Robert L. Schreicr 

Maj Elwyn M, Stimson 

. . .Capt Howard K. Alberts (to \ A Nov) 
Capt Earl F. Stanley 

r ^gnal Company 

^manding Officer, ANGLICO . . . 

, Maj Richard A. Glaeser 

. Maj Fulton L. 
Maj Frederick 3 

(to 16 Nov) 

Standing Officer 

^utive Officer 

T. Milne 

E, Haberlie (to 1 Dec) 

f 1 

^anding Officer, 

headquarters Company Capt Bruce W, Clarke (to 18 Nov) 

c IstLt Frederick L. 

^anding Officer, 

Cotl »nanding Officer, A Company 

^mrnanding Officer, B Company 
^Umanding Officer, C Company 
landing Officer. D Company 

Capt Philip C Morell (to 1 Dec) 

Maj Douglas E. Haberlie 
. .Capt Gcarl M. English (to 1 Dec) 

IstLt Robert J. Craig 
. , Capt Bruce F. Williams 
, Capt Richard M. Taylor 
. Capt tester T. Chase (to 18 Nov) 
Capt Bruce W. Clarke (ly Nov-lODec) 
IstLt Paul E. Sanders 

394 The Chasm Reservoir Campaign 

1th Motor Transport Battalion 

Commanding Officer Maj Joseph F, Stepka (to 7 Nov) 

LtCol Carf J.Cagle 

Executive Officer Maj Vernon A. Tuson 

Commanding Officer, 

Headquarters Company IstLt Reed T. King 

Commanding Officer, A Company . . .Capt Ira N, Hayes 
Commanding Officer, B Company . . .CaptClovis M. Jones 
Commanding Officer, C Company . , .CaptFred B. Rogers 
Commanding Officer, D Company . . .Capt Joseph L. Bunker 

Marine Observation Squadron 6 

(Under operational control of IstMarDiv and administrative 
control of ] stMAW) 

Commanding Officer Maj Vincent J. Gottschalk 

Executive Officer Opt Victor A. Armstrong (to 13 Nov) 

Capt Andrew L. McVtckers 

1st Marine Aircraft Wing 

Commanding General . MajGen Field Harris 

Assistant Commanding General BrigGcn Thomas J. Cushman 

Chief of Staff . .Col Kenneth H. Weir (8 Oct-t Nov) 

Col Caleb T. Baitey (2 Nov-15 Dec) 
Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations 1 Col Edward C. Dyer 

G-l Col Raymond E, Hopper 

G-2 LtCol Winsor V. Crockett, Jr. 

G-3 LtCol Howard A. York (to 9 Nov) 

LtCol Paul J. Fontana 
(10Nov-28Nov) s 

LtCol Howard A. York 
(29Nov-15 Dec) 

G-4 Col Thomas J. Noon 

Commanding Officer, 

Rear Echelon, Itami Col Roger T. Carleson 

Commanding Officer, 

Headquarters Squadron, One Capt Earl "B" Sumerlin, Jr. 

Marine Aircraft Group 12 

Commanding Officer Col Boeker C. Batterton 

Deputy Group Commander LtCol Paul J. Fontana 

Commanding Officer, 

Headquarters Squadron 12 Maj John E, Hays 

* Also Deputy C/S, Air Support, X Corps. 
•Additional duty. 

Command and Staff List 395 

Commanding Officer, 

Service Squadron 12 Maj Claude H. Welch (to 4 Nov) 

Maj Charles E, J. McLean 

Marine Aircraft Group 33 

&AimandiDg Officer Cot Frank C Dailey 

Ueputy Group Commander LtCol Radford C. West 

^mraanding Officer, 

Headquarters Squadron 33 Capt Walter "L" Hilton 

^Wnandiflg Officer, 

Marine Service Squadron 33 LtCol James C. Lindsay 


Commanding Officer, 

Marine Fighter Squadron 212 LtCol Richard W. Wyczawskf 

Commanding Officer, 

Marine Fighter Squadron 214 Maj Robert P. Keller (to 2 ONov) 

r Maj William M. Limdin 

Commanding Officer, 

_ Marine Fighter Squadron 312 LtCol M J" Frank Cole 

^manding Officer, Marine 

r ^ghter Squadron 311 LtCol Neil R. Mclntyre (from 8 Nov) 

^landing Officer, 

_ Marine Fighter Squadron 323 Maj Arnold A. Lund 

^manding Officer, Marine 

^l-Weather Squadron 513 Maj J. Hunter Reinburg (to 4 Nov) 

n LtCol David C. Wolfe 

°mmanding Officer, Marine 

Alt. Weather Fighter Squadron 542 LtCol Max J. Volcansek, Jr. 
"landing Officer, Marine 

transport Squadron 152 Col Deane C. Roberts 

Q 5jmanding Officer, 
Marine Ground Control 

Intercept Squadron 1 Maj Harold E. Allen 

^manding Officer, 
Marine Tactical Air 

iron 2 Maj Christian C, Lee 


Enemy Order of Battle 

*■ North Korean 

During operation!! around Wonsan the 1st Marine Division encountered frag- 
ments and stragglers from many NKPA divisions. The organized elements 
* et e chiefly from the 2d, 5 th, and 1 5th Divisions. 

'' Chinese 

*2d Army 

124th Division 

370th Regiment 

371st Regiment 

372nd Regiment 
125th Division 

373rd Regiment 

374th Regiment 

375th Regiment 
126th Division 

376th Regiment 

377th Regiment 

378th Regiment 
20[ h Army 
58th Division 

172nd Regiment 

173rd Regiment 

174th Regiment 
59th Division 

175th Regiment 

176th Regiment 

177th Regiment 
60th Division 

178th Regiment 

179th Regiment 

1 80th Regiment 
89th Division 

266th Degiment 

267th Regiment 

268th Regiment 
^ 7f h Army 
7 9th Division 

235th Regiment 

236th Regiment 

237th Regiment 


In action against 7th Marines south of 
Sudong 2 Nov. Badly cut up in ac- 
tions of 3-6 Nov. 

Not in contact. Probably to west of 
124th Division. 

Screened Giinese retreat to Hagaru, 
Never heavily engaged, 

First in action at Hagam 28 Nov. 
Badly cut up in attacks on Hagaru. 

In contact with 7th Ma 
west of Yudam-ni 23 Nov. 
fended Toktong Pass. 

In contact with 7th Marines southeast 
of Yudam-ni 25 Nov. Later moved to 
Funchilin Pass area. 

First contacted by 7th Marines west 
of Hagaru 22 Nov. About 2 Dec 
moved south to Majon-dong area. 

Attacked Yudam-ni 27 Nov. 


The Chosin Reservoir C 

80th Division 
238th Regiment 
239th Regiment 
24Qth Regiment 

81st Division 
24lst Regiment 
242nd Regiment 
243rd Regiment 

90th Division 
268th Regiment 
269th Regiment 
270th Regiment 
26th Army 

76th Division 
226th Regiment 
227th Regiment 
228th Regiment 

77th Division 
229th Regiment 
230th Regiment 
231st Regiment 

78th Division 
232nd Regiment 
233rd Regiment 
234th Regiment 

88th Division 
263rd Regiment 
264th Regiment 
265th Regiment 

Attacked 7th Infantry Division un> ts 
east of Reservoir 27 Nov, 

No report of contact until 13 
May have been in Yudam-ni area. 

No contact reported. May have b ec " 
in reserve near Hagaru. 

First contacts cast of Hagaru 5 
Suffered heavy losses around KotO' fl 

I-'irst contacts at Hagaru 5 Dec. 

Not reported in contact. May nt j' 
have reached area in time for comb J ' 

Not reported in contact. May gs 
have readied area in time for corfl^' 


Air Evacuation Statistics 1 


l0 Clec5O 

































1'fllu Cor P s ' S i"' c '" t Kt ' / ""''' a "'" ^cpm, 93 i Smith, Nom, 844; and VMO-6 i'AR, 13-13. 
M evacuation included under OY for Koto-ri, 2 to 7 December 1950. 



Unit Citations 


The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Presidkn- 
ttAL Unit Citation to the 

First Marine Division, Reinforced 

'Or service as set forth in the following Citation: 

"For extraordinary heroism and outstanding performance of duty in action 
gainst enemy aggressor forces in the Chosin Reservoir and Koto-ri area of 
Wea from 27 November to 11 December 1950. "When the full fnry of the 
'"emy counterattack struck both the Eighth Army and the Tenth Corps on 27 
w« 28 November 1.950, the First Marine Division, Reinforced, operating as 
^ left flank division of the Tenth Corps, launched a daring assault westward 
, f Qm Yudam-ni in an effort to cut the road and rail communications of hostile 
°Tes attacking the Eighth Army and, at the same time, continued its mission 
" protecting a vital main supply route consisting of a tortuous mountain road 
"ining southward to Chinhung-ni, approximately 35 miles distant. Ordered 
5 withdraw to Hamhung in company with attached army and other friendly 
'"its in the face of tremendous pressure in the Chosin Reservoir area, the 
vision began an epic battle against the bulk of the enemy Third Route Army 
H while small intermediate garrisons at Hagaru-ri and Koto-ri held firmly 
Ssinst repeated and determined attacks by hostile forces, gallantly fought its 
successively to Hagaru-rt, Koto-ri, Chinhung-ni and Hamburg over twist- 
% mountainous and icy roads in sub-zero temperatures. Battling desperately 
'Sht and day in the face of almost insurmountable odds throughout a period 
two weeks of intense and sustained combat, the First Marine Division, 
Enforced, emerged from its ordeat as a fighting unit with its wounded, with 
s guns and equipment and with its prisoners, decisively defeating seven enemy 
^'sions, together with elements of three others, and inflicting major losses 
"ich seriously impaired the military effectiveness of the hostile forces for a 
lp| stderable period of time. The valiant fighting spirit, relentless perseverance 
1( J heroic fortitude of the officers and men of the First Marine Division, Rem- 
; )f ccd, in battle against a vastly outnumbering enemy, were in keeping with 
' c highest traditions of the United States Naval Service." 

T'he following reinforcing units of the First Marine Division participated in 
Rations against enemy aggressor forces in Korea from 27 November to 

December 1950: 

"canic Units Of The First Marine Division: First Marine Division (less 
^tachment Headquarters Battalion; Detachment First Signal Battalion; Detadi- 


402 The Chosin Reservoir Campaign 

ment First Service Battalion; Detachment Headquarters and Companies A and C> 
First Tank Battalion; Automotive Supply Company, First Motor Transpor 
Battalion; Automotive Maintenance Company, First Motor Transport Battalion- 
Detachment First Ordnance Battalion; Detachment Headquarters and Com- 
pany A, First Medical Battalion; First Shore Party Battalion; 4.5" Rocket 
Battery and Service Battery, Fourth Battalion, Eleventh Marines). 
Attached Marine Corps Units: Companies A and B, Seventh Motor Trans- 
port Battalion; Detachment Radio Relay Platoon. 

Attached Army Units: Provisional Battalion (Detachments, 31st and 32«<j 
Regimental Combat Teams); Company D, 10th Engineer Combat Battalion. 
Tank Company, 31st Infantry Regiment; Headquarters Company, 31st Infantry 
Regiment; Company B, 1st Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment; 2nd Battalion. 
31st Infantry Regiment (less Company E); 185th Engineer Combat Battalia 
(less Company A). 

For the President, 

R. B, Anderson 
Secretary of the Navy 

Unit Citations 


No. 72 Washington 25, D. C, 9 August 1951 

Distinguished Unit Citation 

t The 1st Marine Air Wing, Fleet Marine Force, is cited for outstanding 
performance of duty and extraordinary heroism in action against an armed 
enemy in the areas of Chosin Reservoir, Hagaru-ri, and Koto-ri, Korea, during 
the period 22 November to 14 December 1950. The historic role of close- 
support air missions flown by personnel on land and carrier based aircraft during 
the operations of the X Corps, United States Army, contributed immeasurably 
to the successful withdrawal of the X Corps when hordes of Chinese Communist 
and North Korean troops had encircled their positions endangering die entire 
operation. In their magnificent employment of close-support doctrine and in 
their exceedingly effective interdiction missions and night combat air patrols, 
the 1st Marine Air Wing flew 2,572 day and night sorties during this period, 
•nflicting 10,313 enemy casualties and destroying 723 buildings, 144 vehicles, 
XI tanks, 9 bridges, 4 locomotives, 3 command posts, 30 boxcars, 47 gun posi- 
tions, and 19 supply, ammunition, and fuel dumps. These missions were flown 
over hazardous mountain terrain under extremely adverse weather conditions 
and in the face of intense enemy antiaircraft and small-arms fire. The normally 
Sround-based Tactical Air Direction Center was ingeniously improvised into 
in airborne center in a C-54 aircraft without appreciable loss or efficiency in 
operations and the responsibility for controlling aircraft was assumed and 
Accomplished in a remarkable manner through day and night operations by 
controlling personnel. Airborne tactical air coordinators also were established 
to supplement the airborne center to direct specific strikes in areas not under 
s ttrveillance of ground control parties to the end that every available sortie was 
utilized to maximum effectiveness. In the evacuation of friendly casualties by 
cargo airplanes, the use of helicopters for rescue of air personnel shot down by 
[ he enemy and the evacuation of wounded, and the high state of aircraft avail- 
a bility maintained by ground personnel working under hazardous and extremely 
Averse conditions because of intense cold, personnel of the entire 1st Marine 
Air Wing displayed fortitude, courage, and marked esprit de corps. Although 
Offering a considerable loss of personnel and equipment during this trying 
feriod, the morale and effectiveness of the 1st Marine Air Wing were sustained 
a t a constantly high level. The repeated acts of valor and gallantry by the 
Officers and men of the 1st Marine Air Wing, Fleet Marine Force, and their 
viable combat record reflect great credit on the members thereof and are in 
Wping with the highest traditions of the military service. 

By order of the Secretary of the Army; 

J. Lawton Collins 

Chief of Staff, United States Army 



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. Special Action Report for the period 10 October 1950 to 15 December 

1950. 7 May 1951. 
A G-l 
U G-2 
C G~3 
D G-4 
E Medical 
F Special Services 
G Legal 
H Communications 
I VMR-152 
J Marine Air Group 33 


A S-l 

B S-2 

C S-5 

D S~4 

E Communications 
F Logistics 
G Med ical 
H Public Information 
I Buildings and Ground 
J Ordnance 
K Transportation 
L Chaplain 
M Electron tes 
N Photographic Unit 
O Engineering 
P Aerology 

Bibliography 407 

S VMF-323 
K Marine Air Group 12 
A Person nci 
B Intelligence 
C Operations 

d tpgfetics 

E Supply 


G VMF-3I2 

H VMF(N)-51J 

I VMF(N)-5-'i2 



L Engineering 

M Ordnance 

N Electronics 

O Transportation 

P Special Services 

Q Mess 

R Utilities 

S Communications 

T Medical 

U Base Security 

V Commanding Officer's Comments 
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1st Marine Division, FME. Historical Diaries, October-December 1950. Diary 
File, HQMC Historical. 

— . Periodic Intelligence Reports, October-December 1950. Correspond- 
ence File, IstMnrDiv (Korea), HQMC Historical. 

. Periodic Operations Reports, October-December 1950, Correspond- 
ence File, IstMarDiv (Korea), HQMC Historical, 

. Reports, messages, journals, correspondence, orders, and miscellaneous 

matter, October-December 1950. Correspondence File, IstMarDiv (Korea), 
HQMC Historical. 

■. Special Action Report for the Wonsan-Hamhung-Chosbin (sic) Reser- 
voir Operation, S Octobcr-1 5 December 1950. 21 May 1951. 3 sections. 

A G-l 

B G-2 

C G-3 

D G-4 

E Adjutant 

F Anti-tank 

G Ghaplain 

H Chemical Warfare and Radiological Defense 
I Dental 


■ervoir Campaign 

J Embarkation 

K Engineer 

L Headquarters Commandant 

M Food Director 

N Historical 

O Inspector 

P Legal 

Q Medical 

R Motor Transport 

S Ordnance 

T Post Exchange 

U Public Information 

V Signal 

W Special Services 

X Supply 

Y Disbursing 
Z Civil Affairs 

AA Division Administration Center 

BB Fire Support Coordination Center 

CC Air and Air Observers 

DD Naval Gunfire 

EE Headquarters Battalion 

FF 1st Service Battalion 

GG 1st Signal Battalion 

HH 1st Medical Battalion 

II 1st Motor Transport Battalion 

JJ 1st Amphibian Truck Company 

LL 1st Ordnance Battalion 

MM 1st Shore Party Battalion 

NN 1st Engineer Battalion 

00 1st Tank Battalion 

PP 1st Marines 

QQ 5th Marines 

RR 7th Marines 

SS 11th Marines 

TT 1st Amphibian Tractor Battalion 

UU 1st Combat Service Group 

VV 7th Motor Transport Battalion 


XX Cold Weather Operations 

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V MP-214. Historical Diaries, October-December 1950. Diary File, HQMC 

V MP-312. Historical Diaries, October-December 1950. Diary File, HQMC 

V,, 323 ' Historical Diaries, October-December 1950. Diary File, HQMC 

V M.F(N)_ 313 Historical Diaries, October-December 1950. Diary File, 
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VMF(N)-542. Historical Diaries, October- December 1950. Diary File, 
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1st Air Delivery Platoon, FMF. Historical Diaries, October-December 1950. 
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Iruman, Harry S. Memoirs, 2 vols. Garden City: Doubleday, 1955-1956. 
U. S. Department of State. Guide to the V. N. in Korea. Washington: U. S, 

Government Printing Office, 1951. State Department Publications 4229, Far 

East Series 47. 


The Chasm Reservoir 

. United Nations Actions in Korea. Washington: U. S. Government 

Printing Office, 1951. State Department Publications 4051, 

•. Division of Publication, Office of Public Affairs. United States Ra- 
tions with China: With Special Reference to the Period 1944-1949. Washing- 
ton: U. S. Government Printing Office, 1949, State Department Publications 
3573, Far East Scries 30. 

Walker, Richard L. China Under Communism: The First Five Years. New 
Haven: Yale University Press, 1955. 

Westover, John G., Capt, USA, Editor. Combat Support in Korea. Washington: 
Combat Forces Press, 1955. 

Whitney, Courtney, MajGen, USA. Mac Arthur, His Rendezvous with History- 
New York: Knopf, 1956. 

Willoughby, Charles A., and John Chamberlain, MacArtbur 1941-1951. New 
York: McGraw Hill, [1954]. 

Xenophon. The Anabasis of Cyrus. Translated by Henry C. Dakyns. In Francis 
R. B. Godolphin, Editor. The Greek Historians. 2 vols. New York: Ran- 
dom House, [1942]. 


Aid station, 192, 258, 316 

Air Force and Navy Bombers, 143 
AT-G (Mosquito), 98, J49 
B-26, 282 

C-47, 69, 138, 246, 247. 2?8, 279, 281, 

282, 308, 325 
C-H9, 191, 247, 282, 311 
Carrier planes, 254 

P4U (Corsair), 57, 67, 68, 70, 100, 
102, 113, 118, 152, 156, 179, 
193, 194, 218, 222, 224, 238, 
255, 257, 263, 266, 268, 271, 
287, 289, 290, 320, 347, 349 

F-51 (Mustang), 190 

HOSS-I See Helicopters. 

J-5G, 246, 351 

Marine aircraft, 254, 264, 272 
Mariners, 29 
Navy planes, 325 
Night fighters, 282 

Observation planes (OY-2s), 66-69, 
73, 152, 201, 202, 245, 246, 
272, 288, 298, 305, 308, 351 

IWD, 137, 158, 278, 279, 281, 282, 
341, 349 

R5D, 32, 191, 279. 296, 321, 349 

Spotter plane, 154 

Sunderlands, 29 

TBM, 307, 349, 368 

Transport planes, Marine, 191 
Air drop, 68, 69, 191, 194, 243, 247, 
250, 275, 277, 280, 282, 283, 
306, 311, 322, 334, 349 
Air Force, 311 

Far East Air Forces (FEAF), 10, 35, 

Combat Cargo Command, 32, 191, 
247, 279, 281, 282, 349 
Fifth Air Force, 34, 254, 287, 348, 350 
Commanding general, 33 

tSFSSiS F-51s (Mustang), 

Air strikes, 56, 57, 109, 118, 147, 156, 
224, 225, 230, 231, 238, 251, 258, 
264, 265, 268, 271, 275, 288, 290, 
320, 324, 326. See aha Air Sup- 

Air strip 
C-47, 149 

OY strip (Yudam-ni), 253 

OY strip (Hagaru), 137 

OY strip (Majon-ni), 63 
Air support, 54-56, 108, 109. 190, 194, 
243, 253, 268. 286, 296, 302, 313, 
320, 321, 339, 340, 343, 349, 350. 
See aim Air Strikes. 

Breakout, 286, 287 

Close, 70, 100, 102, 117. 152, 217, 
254, 255, 263, 272, 286, 296, 
299, 325, 348, 358 

Evacuation, 278, 279. 281, 285, 308, 

Observation, 163 
Procedures, 33 
Reconnaissance, 152, 163 
Air operations, 349 
Cargo, 349 
Control, 348, 349 

Air Defense Controllers, 348 
Cover, 33a 
Innovations, 350 
Problems, 347 
Almond, Lt Gen Edward M., USA, 8-10, 
lOw, 11, 14, 15, 18, 24, 26, 29, 31. 
32, 37-39, 54, 55, 57, 58, 76, 80, 
82», 90», 98, 120, 126. 131, 132, 
134, 134«, 137, 205,238, 239, 250, 
280, 285, 302, 308, 337, 340, 342, 
343, 346, 359 
AJvarez, SSgt. R. C, 1B3», 257n, 266n, 

Ambushes, 70, 72 
Ambush Alley, 62, 70, 72, 75, 77 
Ammer, 1st Lt Henry G., 255 
Ammunition, 194, 257, 259, 277, 282, 
283, 2fi5, 287, 302 

Artillery, 160, 250, 254, 279 

Bomb, 266 

Mortar, 179, 201, 291, 324 

Small arms, 144, 160 
Amyotte, Cpl George A. J., 329, 330 
Anbyon, 56, 59 

Anderson, LtCol Berry K„ USA, 24 5, 288 
Anderson, LCdr Gustave T,, (MC) USN, 

Antung, Manchuria, 124 
Anzio, 333 




Arioli, Lt Peter E., (MC) USW, 261 
Armor, body, 330 
Armstrong, Capt Victor A., 34 
Army, 247, 307 
Army Units, U. S. 
Eighth U. S. Army in Korea { EUSAK ) , 
1, 3, 8, 10, 11, 14, 18, 26, 34-36, 
43, 58, 65, 81, 82, 99, 118, 129, 
132, 133, 142, 145, 146, 205, 
238, 239, 277, 334. 337, 340, 
345, 346, 350, 352, 355, 35S 
12lst Army Evacuation Hospital, 189, 

181st Counter Intelligence Corps team 

(CIC), 65 

Fourth Signal Battalion, 127, 207, 290 
Provisional Battalion, 245, 294, 296, 
297, 312, 317, 318, 321, 324 
Special Operations Company, 81, 126 

IX Corps, 34, 35 

X Corps, 1, 8-11, 14, 14s, 15, 18, 21- 

27, 33, 34, 36-38, 40-44, 59, 65, 
75, 76, 81, 98, 12 5, 129, 131- 
134, 141, 143, 145, 147, 149, 
188, 238, 240, 246, 280, 306, 
308, 335-338, 340, 342. 352, 
355, 357, 358 
Command Post. S?e Headquarters, X 

Corps, below. 
Headquarters, 11, 29, 76, 98, 206, 

Railway Transportation Section, 138 
Corps), 31 

Tactical Air Command, 

1st Cavalry Division, 15, 34, 58, 82 
2d Infantry Division, 36, 150 
3d Infantry Division, 36", 43, 5S, 59, 
75, 76, 98, 126, 131, 136, 140, 

145, 146, 303, 309, 326, 337- 
339, 342, 343 

7th Infantry Division, 10, 14, 23, 24, 
26, 58, 98, 123, 131, 135, 145, 

146, 238, 288, 309, 333, 337, 
339, 342, 352, 358 

24 th Infantry Division, 34 

2d Engineer Special Brigade, 138, 139 

187th Airborne RCT 34 

7th Regimental Combat Team, 343 

15th Regimental Combat Team, 343 

1st llattalion, 74, 77 
17th Regimental Combat Team, 75, 144 
31st Infantry Regiment, 148, 205, 243, 

Company B. 225, 226, 228, 229, 231, 
232, 234 

2d Battalion, 306, 312, 326, 328, 331 
Tank Company, 326 
32d infantry Regiment, 243 
1st Battalion, 140 

65th Regimental Combat Team, 75, 
126-128, 326, 327 
2d Battalion. 127 

10th Engineer Battalion, 235 
Cornel.)' L>, 2>>6, 213 

185th Engineer Battalion, 311, 325 . 

50lh Antiaircraft Artillery (Automatic- 
weapons) Battalion, 315 

57th Field Artillery Battalion, 243 

92d Armored Field Artillery Battalion. 
14, 309, 313, 316, 326 

96th Field Artillery Battalion, 14, U6- 

Artillery, 73 
Army, 340 

Chinese Communist Forces, 206, 220 
Marine, 108-110, 117, 118, 165, 178, 

201, 202, 240, 266, 272, 287, 


Support, 100, 147, 156, 179, 194, 208, 
217, 220, 253, 255, 257, 
260, 287, 290, 296, 302, 32». 
321, 325 

Ascom City, 1 1 

Andas, SSgt John D., 191 

Austin, Capt Bernard L., 15 

Avant, Maj Percy F., Jr., 299 

Babe, IstLt George A., 311 

Mara,? Strait (CVE), USS, 32, 286, 347 

Ball, Istl.t Raymond O., 174 

Banks, LtCol Charles L., 207, 214, 215. 

241, 285, 322 
Banks, Capt David \V„ 100, 103 
Barber, Capt William E., 180, 190, 191, 

193, 194, 200, 264, 265 
Barr, MajGcn David G., USA, 75, 

84fl, 98, 238, 239, 288, 340 
Barrett, Capt R. L„ Jr., 208s, 209, 216" 
Barrow, Capt Robert H., 49, 51«, 55m, 

70, 72, 221, 314-316, 320 
Bartley, LtCol Whitman S., 279«, 305/'. 


mm (CVL), USS, 287, 333, 334, 349 
Bates, Maj W, L„ Jr., 22 1 w, 222, it**. 

321, 355 
Batterton, Col Boeker C, 342 
Bayfield (APA) t USS, 25, 31, 34 L 
BLUE, 343 
GREEN, 340, 343 
PINK, 343 
YELLOW, 342 
Won son 

BLUE, 22, 31, 39, 40 
RED, 26 

YELLOW, 2Z, 31, 39, 40, 45 


4 1 S 

B «U, LtCol Olin L„ 99, 160, 180, 244, 
. 245, 2S5 
Bear, 120 

gift Keyes, 192, 194, J23 

' w . tAl James D., 68 
Be eau Wood, 302 

"*>U, IstLt George 46w, 48, 51, 52, 57 

Btoson, Pfc Robert P, 181 

""ts, IstLt Harrison F., 210, 216 

Ut T, IstLt R, T, l!)0w, 104m, HIS, HIS//, 

j, 167, 168, 172, IS3h, 186 

"^es, IstLt Warren J., 107m 

ancliard, LtCol Robert M., USA, 74 
« iindieri. IstLt Howard A., 222 

anktnship, Capt C. P„ 244/; 
" Mingiime, Capt Hersel D. C, 69, 311 
^K'-.&pt Wallace D., 34 
"locking and Escort Forte, United Nations, 

BI "men;on, Capt Martin, USA, &», 11/;, 
k , 243;; 
"ooby trap, 43, 71 
™lcy, 2dLt James J., 209 
{frfiomainero, 5Sgt Russell JL 164 
if't, 2dLt Kenneth A., 67 
°°wman, Lt George, 263;/ 
u °wser, Col Alpha L„ 26m, 38n, 39", 4J«, 
54 60, 89m, 92», 100», 136, 205, 

faf (CV^USS 3 , 1 !?, 25 
Htad ey, i 5 tL t Bobbie B„ 318 
»y, Gen O. N., USA, iU 

^Sistics, 247 

Wans, 238, 239, 250, 251 
r '^ e > 274, 286, 296, 297, 302 

M-2 Steel Treadway, 311, 319, 329-331 
""ages, Maj David W., 46n, 49, 49//, 
b 50n, 51/;, 314«, 321m, 325m 
"rower, Col. James H., 40, 220, 247s 
S f «* (DD), USS, 27 
^ezmski, Maj Henry, 40 
K IstLt John A„ 226a, 232, 234 
inkers, Chinese Communist Forces, 315, 

IstLt Joh n 3 L 5 , Jr., 207 

P a ^ratta, Pvt Hector A., 181 
£W«1J, 2dLt John H., 167, 1S2, 270 
J; a maratta, 2dLt August L„ 270 
^mp Lejetme, 330s 

Maj John J, 171 
^■ttoria, istLt N. A, 215», 219, 235, 
c 238, 241, 300m, 327, 331// 
^Praro, Ca pt M. J„ 226s, 229n, 232, 214 
^'ey, 2dLt Richard E„ 202, 203, 220;/. 
r 235n, 24 Is, 326 
^ r "n, IstLt Francis B., 49-51 
^Isan, CW0 Aljen( 275 

Caruso, Sgt Matthew, 297 

Cash ion , 2dLt Dana B., 182, 182// 


Army, U, S„ 74, 81, 127, 214, 243-245, 
306//, 343 

Chini'M? Communist Forces, 108-110, 
112, 117, 121, 147, 164, 166, 
268, 174, 181-1H3, 186, 188, 
190, 194, 222, 224, 226, 241, 
242, 263, 266, 390, 293, 294, 
299, 306, 315, 316, 320, 324, 
35!, 354, 355 

Enemy losses, 1 1 8 

Evacuation, 55, 57, 138, 139, 245, 246, 
253, 305. 307, 319, 334, 349 
Control Officer, 339 

Marine, 51, 52, 54, 57, 70, 72, 73, 74, 
75, 100, 102, 109, 116-118, 121, 
124, 127, 157, 166, 168, 174, 
178, 179, 181, 182, 186, 188, 
190-192, 194, 201, 210, 216,, 
219 224, 225, 234, 240-243, 
245, 247, 258, 264, 265, 272, 
275, 278-281, 284, 290, 291, 
293, 298, 299, 302, 303, 306- 
308, 315, 3!6, 319, 323, 325, 
328, 330-332, 351, 385 
Casualty list, 57 

Norrh Korean (NKPA), 51, 53, 70, 

Personnel losses, 69 
Republic of Korea Army, 214 

Catania, Lt Alfred J.. 226m 

Gates, Gen Clifton B., 133 134//, 359 

Ceyhn (CL), HMS, 28 

Chabek, IstLt Jack A., 179 

Cbnl larombe, Capt Arthur D., 266 

Chamberlain, J., 35s 

Chambers IstLt George C. 49, 52 

Chandler, IstLt J, B., 294« 

Cfmngiin, 44, 96, 99, 132, 134, 135, 200. 
204, 230, 286 

Ck'itterer (AMS), USS, 27 

Ch err sop bus, 357 

Chiang Kai-shek, 83, 84 

Chides ter, LtCol Arthur A., 231, 234, 

Chigyong, 77, 80-82, 124, 126, 128, 136, 

140, 147, 197, 204, 205, 335 
Chiles, LtCol John H., USA, 135, 145 
China, 3, 5, 7 

Central Committee, 85 

Civil War, 83-85 

"Hate America" campaign, 91 

Intervention, 35, 131 

Kiangsi Province (South China), 83 

North China, Occupation by Marines, 



China— Continued 

People's Revolutionary Military 

Aid Korea" move- 

' 'Resist 

menc, 90 
Seventh Party Congress, 85 
Chinese Communist Forces, 5, 81, 85, 98, 
99. 129, 203 
Assault, 168 
Bugle calls, 104 
Bunkers. See Bunkers, 
Command Post, 3)5 
Communications, 93, 353 
Counterstroke, 1 46 
Entrenchment, 156, 157 
Equipment, 88 
Fortifications, 157 
Intervention, 128, 129, 142, 143 
Jet fighters, 142 
Logistics, 88, 93, 353 
"Long March", 83 
Organisation, 85, 86, 88 
People's Liberation Army (PLA), 83- 

Plans, 353 
Rank, 88 
Recruiting, 87 
Reinforcements, 296 
Roadblock, 109 
Strategic concepts, 90 
Strategy, 91 
Strong point, 325 
Tactics, 89, 91-94, 354 
Training, 87 
Troops, 79, 98 
Uniforms, 89 

3d Field Army, 161, 352, 356 
4th Field Army, 99, 352, 355 
9th Army Group, 161, 352, 354-356, 

20th Army, 149, 352-355 
24th Army, 352 
26th Army, 313, 352-355 
27th Army, 352, 354, 355 
30th Army, 352 
32d Army, 313, 352 
42d Army, 82, 99, 352 
58th Division, 149, 220, 242, 285, 
326, 352 

59th Division, 149, 161, 242. 285, 

60th Division, 149, 225, 285, 313, 

70th Division, 352 

76th Division, 352 

77th Division, 286, 313, 352, 355 

78th Division, 286, 313, 352 

79th Division, 161 167, 171, 174 

266, 285, 352 
80th Division, 285, 352 
81st Division, 352 _ 
89th Division, 161, 167, 178, 1» 7 ' 

285, 313, 352 
94th Division, 313, 352 , 
124th Division, 82, 99, 105, l'"' 

118, 120, 352 
125th Division, 99, 352 
126th Division, 99, 123, 167, 35 3 
172d Regiment, 220, 242 
173d Regiment, 220, 242 
174th Regiment, 220, 242 
176th Regiment, 242 
179th Regiment, 225 , 
235th Regiment, 167, 168, 172, W 

184, 185, 186, 266 , 
236th Regiment, 167, 168, 170, l? 4 ' 


237th Regiment, 167, 170 

267th Regiment, 167 

370th Regiment, 99, 103, 107, 1 ]0 , 

371st Regiment, 103, 104, 107, I 1 " 

372d Regiment, 103, 110 
Chinese Nationalists, 84, 85 
Chinhung-ni, 96, 98, 110, 112-114, Hj>' 
117, 120, 124, 135-141, 146-1*' 
202, 221, 284, 305, 307-309, 312' 
314, 323-327, 331, 333, 335, 3^' 

Tank Battle, 113 
Chinnampo, 8, 27, 34 
Chonchon-ni, 52, 53, 57 
Chongj.n, 28, 44, 45, 76, 132, 145 
Chongju, 9 

Chongsanjangsi, 36-38 
Chou En- Lai, 7 
Chorwon, 35 
Chosin, 38 

Campaign, 346, 348, 356 
Plans, 38 
Results, 356-359 
Reservoir, 82, 96, 98, 99, 110, 116, l' 7, 
120, 123, 124, 132, 133, I3 7 ' 
139, 145-149, 151, 198, 2" 5 ' 
238, 239. 266, 309, 350, 352 
Withdrawal from. See Breakout. 
Cho II Kwon, Col (NKPA), 50 
Chuchonhujang, 132 
C1C, 66, 70, 71, 73, 202, 203 
Civil affairs, 65, 66, 73 
Clark, Maj Albert L., 299 
Clark, IstLt Truman, 299, 307 
Clearing stations, 139, 210, 211, 246, 3"' 
Clements, IstLt Leonard M., 174 
Clothing, cold weather, 58, 80, 281 
Cochran, Maj Robert L., 107, 117 


Codispoti, Capt Gildo S., 224 
Coffman, 2dU Harold L., 69, 7 In 
Cole, LtCol J. Frank, 68 
Collet, <DD), USS, 28 
Collins, Capt E. E., 172», 183n, 186s 
w> Ims, Gen J. Lawton, USA, 5, 359 
Colmery, lstLt Harry W„ 217 
^"mmand Post. See Unit concerned. 
Commander in Chief Far East (CinCrE). 

See General of the Army Douglas 

MacArthur, USA. 
Commander in Chief Pacific Fleet (Cin- 

CPacFlt). See Adm Arthur W. 

Radford, USN. 
Commander joint Task Force 7 (CJTF- 

7). See VAdm A. D. Struble, USN. 
J^mmi'skey, 2dLt Henry A., 49 
<- ft tnmmiications, 210, 34p 

wire, 282 
Composite battalion, 251 
«>ndit, Kenneth W., 32», 138n 
inference, 35 

Cmmell, Capt H. G., lOOn, 103 
^solution (AH), USS, 139. 246 
Usrivoy, 45, 48, 70, 74, 75, 231, 235, 272, 

„ 274, 286 

Enemy, 116 

Motor, 58, 59, 62, 77, 149, 1R0, 200, 

- Supply, fis 

Cook, Co! John H„ Jr.. 40 

Cooke, Capt Leroy M., 154, 165 

Cool, Capt William C„ 339 

Coon, Cpl G. L. 294a 

Cooney, Capt Thomas E., 118, 120, 154, 

J;<wbet, 2dLt R. H., 184 
U) "ey, Capt Clarence % Jr., 66, 61, 71«, 
73a, 201, 204n, 208n, 208-211, 
~ 216 

J^rman, Capt Otis W. S., 117 
^'respondents, press, 281, 282, 322 
^'t'g, BrigGen Edward A., 45b, 54 «, 55, 
55«, 56, 56w, 76n, 125, 125?;, 137. 
r 285, 340, 345 

Craven, LCdr John H., USN, 12 In, I72fl, 

p 272, 278 

graven, istLt William A., 49 

^Miin, Maj Angus J., 274 

J; r °nk, Capt Welby W., 224 

Grossman, IstLt Ralph B„ 82, 99, 109, 

r 112», 114», 116», 329 

^rowe, LtCol Henry P., 40, 338, 339 

C'utchfield, 2dLt James L., 68 

punter Intelligence Corps. See CIC. 

Ashman, BrigGen Thomas J.. 286, 342 

d;?5. Lflndin s). n 

Dakyns, Henry C, 357tf 

Damnation Battalion, 251 

Dana, IstLt C. C, 180w, 190« 

Dan ford, SSgt R. R., 18 Off, 19 tin 

Davidson, Sgt Charles V.> 240 

Davis, Maj Daniel H., 107 

Davis, Sgt K, E., 208h, 210 

Davis, LtCol Raymond G., 80s, 99, 99n, 
100, 103, 103«, 104, 106, 108n, 
112, 112tf, 121«, 148, 149, 178, 
190, 254n, 257, 258, 259n. 260, 

294, 317 
-», U6«, 

208, 209 


261, 263, 26 
Davis, Capt W. J-, 10 

259«. 264 
Dawe, 2dLt Harold L., 187 
Degcrnes, 2dLt Mayhlon, L., 
Dclong, IstLt Earl R., It] 
Demolitions, 302 
Teams, 301 
C3 explosive, 208 
DeMott, Pfc Robert D., 329, 
Dennis, IstLt Carl E., 236 
Denny, 2dLt Paul E.. 165 
Derevyanko, LtGen Kuzma, (USSR), 90 
C. W-, 229fl 
yd V 231 
apt Ma*V, USA, 74ff, 76*, 
lln, 126», 127ff, 309» 
Dowsett, LtCol Frederick W„ 114n, 121 n, 
297, 317 

Doyle, RAdm James H., USN, 15, 23-25, 
29-31, 38, 76, 134, 240, 336, 337, 
341, 342n, 345, 359 
Amphibiovis Group, 18 
Doyle, Capt R. A., 67ff, 68» 
Doyle (DMS), USS, 27 
Dtury, Clifford M., 40k 
Drysdale, LtCol Douglas B., RM., 140, 

225, 226, 228-231, 235, 300 
Duffy, IstLt Leroy M., 63, 64 
Duke, Capt Irving T„ 15 
Dumps, 138 

Ammunition, 215, 343 

Enemy, 117 
RCT-7, 140 

Supply, 41, 46, 48, 160, 195, 197, 214, 
282, 285 

Area, 241 

Medical, 139, 149 

ROK, 44, 54 
Duncan, David, 322 
Dunkerque, 334 
Dunkirk, 333, 345 
Dunne, lstl.t John M., 180 
Durham, Maj Thomas A., 171 
Dyer. BrigGen E. C, 187w 
Dysentery, 30 


Eagan, Maj James K., 231, 2}4a 
Farney, Maj W. R., 1Q3«, 107*, USD. 

\2()», 193», 251, 266a 
inherit.-, MajGen George L„ USA, 10, 11a 
Edwards, LtCol H. W.. 29k 
Kltedgc, IstLt Raymond J,, 113 
Eiidicutt (DMS), USS, 27 
Endslcy, 2dLt Wendell C, 20S, 209 
Enemy, 74 

Engineers, 263, 279, 293, 302, 32-1 
Army, 311 

Demolitions crew, 257 
English (DD), USS, 56 
Englehardt, IstLt Floyd J., 191, 2-16 
Estess, Sgt M, L., 229a 
Ewen, RAdm Edward C, USN„ 15 

Faber, TSgt Don, 270 
Faith, LtCol Don C, USA, 243. 244 
Far East Command. See General of the 
Army Douglas MacArthur. 
General Headquarters, 5, 8, 22 
Joint Special Plans and Operations 
Group (JSPOG), fl, 9, 11, 13, 
22, 23 

Farish, Capt George B„ 57, 246 
Farmer, IstLt Chester B., 52 
Eceban, LtCol Harvey A., 15fi, 250, 274 
Fisher, IstLt Joseph R,, 66, 200, 204«, 

208, 209, 216, 240 
Fisher, Sgt Robert, 52 
Fleischaker, Lt Robert J., (MC) USN, 67 
Floodlights, 210, 247 
Forney, Col Edward H., 98, 239, 281, 

308, 316, 338, 339 
Forrest, IstLt Shelby M., 107 
Forward Air Controller (FAC), 53, 67, 

70, 113, 193, 255, 263, 265, 288, 

294, 306, 346, 349 
Forward Observer (FO) team, 67 
Foster, Sgt Charles, 118 
Foster, Pvt Richard J., 127« 
France, Opt Donald R, 297 
Frederick, Capt Charles D., 72 
Freeman, Capt A. Z., 159a, 180b 
Fridrich, LtCo! R. V., 254a, 259/;, 260, 

Frostbite, 351, 354 
Fuel, 275, 285 
Diesel oil, 282 
Gasoline, 277, 282 
Funchilin Pass, 96, 110, 112, 1 14, 116, 

117, 120, 121, 312-314, 317, 320 
Fuscn Reservoir, 38, 99, 123 

Gall, Maj W., 329 
Gallo, SSgt Saverio P., 202 
Gastro-enteritis, 30 
GCA, 348 

Gecr, LtCol Andrew, 62 n, 73m, 1Q3"> 

107b, 112m, lt&», 120??, 179". 

lS6w, 187w, 189m, 190m, 271". 

2HS«, 3l4w, 3IS» 
George Clpner (APA), USS, 25 
Giusti, firnest 11., 32m 
Godolphin, F. R. B., 357m 
Gnggin, IstLt W. F., 100«, 108a, |W 

110a, 120, 120* 
Golden, Pfc Jack, 67 
Goss, 2dLt Harvey A., 67 
Gottschalk, Maj Vincent J., 34, 68m, 245, 


Could, Capt William R„ 300-302, 330 
Gracber, IstLt William C, 81, 99m, 100". 

103m, 106 
Grayson, MSgt E. F., 229m 
Greene, IstLt Daniel, 255, 263 
GrilTcn, Lt (jg) Cornelius J., (ChO 

USN, 297 
Gruff, Capt Goodwin C, 224 
Ground Control Approach. See GCA. 
Guadalcanal, 302 

Guerrillas, 59, 67, 70-72, 74, 81. 82, 125- 
128, 145, 326 
First Raid on MSR, 81 
Gugcler, Capt Russet A., USA, 243a 

Hasaru, 96, 98, 117, 121, 124, 131, t*** 
141, 146-149, 151, 159-161, 178. 
ISO. 189, 191, 193, 195, 197, MS" 
200-205, 206m, 207-211, 213-220. 
222, 225, 229-231, 235, 238-247, 
249, 250, 254, 260, 262, 270, 271. 
273, 274, 277, 273, 280-283, 285' 
291, 293, 294, 298, 305-309, JW? 
313, 319. 324, 326, 333, 334, 349. 
350, 353, 355 
Airstrip, 134, 137, 138, 195, 197, 200. 

210, 219, 235, 246, 247, 281. 


Breakout, 237, 288, 294, 296-302 

Air cover, 286, 287 

Demolitions, 301 

Plans, 283-286, 294 
Destruction of excess material, 285 
Intelligence, 202-204, 206, 285 
Medical, 278, 279 
Military government, 202, 203 

Hall, 2dLt Wayne L., 208, 209 
Hamhung, 7, 18, 38, 41, 45, 58, 59, ?6 
77, 79-82, 95, 96, 98, 99, 125-1 28. 
131, 133-138, 146, 150, 201, 205, 
239, 246, 280, 304, 312, 332, 333, 
338, 342, 346, 348, 355 
Hart River, 15 

Hancock, IstLt John R„ 257, 293 


Hangkow, 85 

f{«4 (DD), USS, 56 

Hapsu, 132, 145 

Hargett, lstLt Ernest C, 112, 116, }2B, 
u 329«, 330 
Harmon, Opt Lester G., 69 
Harriman, Avcrcll, 35 m 
Harris, MajGcn Field, 31, 33, 137, 165k, 
239, 350 

Hattra, lstLt H. H., 103«, 116. 116?/, 
. 117, 118, 120«, 165, 166, 258 
Harris, LtCol William F., 165, 257, 272, 

u ■ 297 

Harrison, TS# C. L., 229" 
Harrison, Col C. W., 2k, S4n 
Harrison, CWO Willie S„ 300, 330 
Hartman, RAdm Charles C, USN. 15 
Hawkins, LtCol Jack, 44 n, 46, 48, 48)/, 

49, 51?/, 53k, 54a, 55, 55n, 58, 58m 
Heater, Capt James B. T 293 
a«et« (CA), USS, 28 
Helicopters, 54, 56-58, 63, 72, 104, 117, 

125, 147-150, 191, 195, 205, 245, 

254, 285, 288, 325, 351 
H03S-1, 202, 246, 351 
HMX-l, 351 
Hell Fire Valley, 230, 296, 297, 299, 302. 

alto Task Force, Drysdalc. 
Hcm.It.-i son, Col Frederick P., 323 
Henderson, RAdm George R„ USN, 15 
Hennebcrqc-r, Capt Harry G. C, 107 
"ering, Capt Eugene R., (MC) USN, 245, 
M 278, 279, 307 
Hermanson, Capt Chester R,, 255, 257 
Hick t >y, MajGcn Doyle O., USA, 9, 10, 

Uff, 205, 309 
Highway, 95 

Hjgginbotham, Capt S. W., 294 w, 299« 

Hi&ins, RAdm John M„ USN, 337 

H'figins, Marguerite, 281, 323 

M D, M2. See also Hill 1457. 

Hdl, East, 204-207, 213-220, 240-242, 

286, 288, 290, 291, 293, 301, 303, 


HHJ. Fox. 180-182, 190, 191, 194, 201, 

i» 302, 204, 254, 261, 270 

gjJJi How, U4, 120. StVffbH Hill 891. 

Hi 109 49, 51, 52, 57 

Hi in 49, 53, 55 

Hi ik 5 _ i9t Hi 5 2 

ill 532- -103 

Hill 693—100, 102, 103, 103m, 104, 
105, 107-109, 112 
727 — —103-105, 107, 108, 112 
Hill 891—110, U4, 116, 117, 117k, 
1 1 8-120 

Hill 987 110, 114, 116, 117, 117b, 

118, 120 

Hill 1081 312-316, 320, 321, 324- 

326, 328 

Hill 1100 257 

Hill U67 158, 168, 253 

Hill 1182- 228, 232 

Hill 1236—226, 232 

Hill 1240 158, 160, 167, 1 68, 170, 

174, 177, 178, 183, 187, 189, 253, 


Hill 1276 159, 253, 257, 265, 268 

H iU 1282 158, 160, 167, 168, 170, 

172, 174, 177, 178, 183-187, 251, 

253, 255, 257. See aho Ridge, 


Hill 1294 159, 253 

Hill 1304 117m, 313, 321 

Hill 1328 312, 317, 318, 327 

Hill 1384 158, 167, 170, 171, 182 

Hill 1403 -152, 154, 156-158, 165, 

166, 170, 183, 187, 188 

Hill 1419 178, 179, 257-259 

Hill 1426 154, 157, 159, 253 

Hill 1457—312, 317, 318, 321, 328, 


Hill 1520 261-264, 268 

Hill 1542 257, 258, 266-268 

Hill 1653 190, 263, 264 

Hinds lstLt John R., 290 
Hodes, BrigGcn Henry I., USA, 238, 243 
Hoffstetter, Pfc Donald O., 67 
I-hdland, lstLt Dan C, 100m, 103, 113 
Holloway, LCdr Charles K, USN, 99 
Holmes, lstLt Donald M., 65 
Honeycutt, lstLt J. H„ 288..;, 291 
Hood, Maj H, E., 282ff, 296 
Hope, Bob, 31 

Hopkins, 2dLt Frederick W„ 65. 236, 241 

Hospelhorn, Capt Cecil W., USA, ill 

Hospital, 139, 197, 281 

House, lstLt Arthur E., 257 

Hovatter, lstLt Eugcnous M., 220, 258, 

259w, 260, 264, 321 
Hnbhel, J. C, 327m 
Huehanggangu, 132 
Huichon, 132, 133. 146, 149 
Huksu-ri, 109, H6m, 123, 131, 135, 140, 

147, 149 

Hull, Capt Milton A,, 100m, 102, 102m, 
108 108m, 109, 134m, 167k, 172r), 
174, 187 

Hungmun-ni, 201 

Hungnam, 9, 22, 23, 58, 75, 76, 95, 96, 
109, 125, 126, 131, 136, 138, 139, 
Ml, 14H, 150, 200, 205, 246, 281, 
305, 325, 327, 332, 333, 335, 336, 
338, 345, 346, 348, 357 

Cemetery, 341 

Evacuation, 333-343, 349 


H ungn am— &w t i n u ed 
Evacuation — Con ti t> u ed 
Plans, 335-337 
Warnings, 239 
Mine clearance, 135 
Redeployment. 338, 355, 359 
Withdrawal to. Sen Breakout. 
Hwachon, 35 
Hyesartjin, 98, 132, 144 

Imjin, 62, 64, 66, 74 
Inchon, 10, 11, 13-15, 17. 18, 21-27, 33, 
143, 336", 340, 346 

Amphibious Mtwrftj 1 

Landing, 3, 5, 34} 

Inchon-Seoul Operation, 10, lln, 14, 

lattedibh (AM) USS, 27 
Indigestion, 351 
Itami, 287, 342 
I wo jima, 302 
Iwon, 58, 75 

Jaeger, 2dLt John W„ 236 
Japan, 36, 43, 247, 279, 281, 311 

Logistical command, 10 
Jaskilka, Capt Samuel, l6l«, 164, 165«, 

166 188n, 293 
Jennings, 1st It William E. f 107« 
Jessup, Ambassador Philip, 35m 
Jeter, istLt Manning T., Jr., 288 
Jochums. IstLt Robert E„ 217, 218, 235h 
Johnson, Capt David G., 288 
Johnson, IstLt Horace L„ Jr., 210, 211, 


Johnson, Cdr Howard A., (MC) USN, 

Johnson, Secretary of Defense Louis, 5 
Johnson, IstLt Richard M., 290 
Johnson, IstLt William E., 118. 267 
Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), 5-9, 37, 128, 

Joint Eighth Army- Fifth Air Force Opera- 
tions Center (JOC), 348 

Joint Special Plans and Operations Group 
(JSPOG). Sec Far East Command. 

Jones, Capt Clovis M., 205 

Jones, 2dU Donald R., 70, 31fi. 320 

Jones, SSgt Donald T., 105 

Jones, TSgt H. T., 72 

Jones, Capt Jack R„ 163, 184, 186, 293 

Joy, VAdm C. Turner, USN, 10, 13, 23, 
25, 27, 43, 134, 140, 239, 336, 
337, 345, 348, 359 

Kaesong, 9, 15, 34 

Kalma Peninsula, 17, IB, 22, 26, 39, 40 

Kanggye, 97, 132-134, 146 

Karig, Walter, 23n, 27«, 28«, 29«, 142» 

Katsuma, 58 

Kaufer, IstLt Edward E., 49 

Keeton, Sgt E. J„ 229« 

Kerr, Capt William A., 224 

Kerrigan, Maj W. E., 17 20 

Kiernan, Capt J. I., Jr., 53«, 244» 

Killing, Cpl Curtis J., 179 

Kiester, IstLt K. E„ 244» 

Kim II Sung, 7 

Kimpo, 32, 34 

King, Capt George W., 219 

Kite (AMS), USS, 27 

Klepsig, Cpl D, E., 327« 

Knox, TSgt Edwin L., 268, 270, 271 

Kobe, 32 

Kogat-gol, 148 

Koingdong, 36 

Kojo, 33, 38, 59. 44-46, 48-59. 76. *** 

Railroad station, '48 
Korea, 359 
North, 8, 37 
Entry into, 7 
Orders, 5, 6, 89 
Plans, 7-10 

Political considerations, 2—5 
North Korean People's Republic, 3 
People's Political Council, 83 
People's Army (NKPA ), 1-3, H? 
34, 43, 46, 50, 53, 54, 59. 
63. 65, 66, 71, 79, 83, 10ft 
110, 125, 129, 146 
Prisoners of War, 40, 65, 71, 72, 
74, 124 


2d Division, 50 
5th Division, 50, 55 
10th Division, 50 
15th Division, 66, 74 
10th Regiment 49, 50 
45 th Regiment, 66, 71, 73 
4Sth Regiment, 66 
50th Regiment, 66 
344th Tank Regiment, 105, 
110. 114 


Republic of Korea, 2, 3, 90 

Army (ROKA), 3, 9, 22, 36. 3?, 
100, 213, 214, 342 

I Corps, 22, 26, 38, 44, 53. 

75, 131, 145, 337 

II Corps, 15, 146, 150 
Capital Division, 22, 35, 3 8 
1st Division, 34 

3d Division, 22, 38, 339 
6th Division, 35, 81, 144h 
7th Division, 35 



Korea— Continued 
South — Continued 
Republic of Korea— Continue J 
At my— Continued 
Units — Continued 
8th Division, 33 
18th Regiment, 12} 
22d Regiment, 2d Battalion, 

26th Regiment, 61, 81, 98, 99, 

128, 131. 140 
101st Engineer Group (C), 44 
Navy, 5c s ships. 
Marine Corps (KMC), 7} 

1st Regiment, 58, 59, 131, 337, 

1st Battalion, 45 
3d Battalion. 22, 73, 76 
5th Battalion, 22, 45, 56, 58, 

Police, 307 
K(lt o-ri, 80m, 82, 96, 98, 117, 120, 121, 
123, 124, 135-137, 139-141, 146- 
148, 201, 204, 205, 220, 222, 224- 
226, 228, 229, 231, 232. 234, 235, 
239, 245, 282-284, 286-288, 295- 
298, 300, 302, 303, 305-309, 311, 
312, 319, 323, 335, 355 
Airstrip (OY), 224, 279, 305, 307, 308 
Air support, 307 
Breakout air support plans, 313 
Breakout, 314-331 
Bridge, 309, 311, 312, 319, 322, 323 
Intelligence, 313 
Mass burial, 319 

Plans, 308, 309, 312-314, 325, 326 
Medical, 307, 308 
£"Won, i26, 128 
£rahbe, 2dLt Donald J„ 156 
£ f ?'nce, istLt F. R., 329m 
£ r »eg, IstLt Elmer A., 165 
5 r V ak. Col Victor H., 58 
gftte Capt Philip A., 213 

^unuri, 9, 35 

£ u <Aka,.Maj H. D., 287k, 347m 
f^ominrang, 83 

K Wcaba, IstLt Joseph R„ 260, 264, 265, 
t , 270, 318 
K !">, 139, 141 

landins Signal Officer, Carrier, 306, 307 


v °'e, LtCol Leon F., USA, 316 

J-awrence, Mai James F., 82 
fgi U Chew Een, 318 
I?' Christian C, 296, 299 
& Feng Hsi. 185 

doctor Tong Kak, 243k 

Leeds, Cpl Joseph, 316 

Lesscnden, LCdr Chester M. (MC) USN, 

192, 278 
Lett, Cpl C. P., 330 
Leyie Gulf (CV), USS, 17, 28, 286 
Lice, 315 
Lin Pao, 161 

Lipscomb, IstLt W. R., 244k 
Litters, 259 

Litzenberg, Col Homer L., 39, 80s, 82. 
98, 99, 100m, 102, 103, 103m, 104, 
107. 108k, 109, 110, 114, 116, 
1I6«, 117, 118, 120, 12 1, 121«, 
148k, 152, 160, 170k, 178, 188, 
189, 193, 201, 249, 250m, 25 Ih, 

253, 254», 258, 259k, 264k, 2 66w, 
267B, 271, 272, 285, 287m, 288, 
293, 294k, 296, 312, 317 

Command Post, 117 
Liu Sheng Hsi, 185 

Lockwood, LtCol Randolph, 160, 198, 

201, 207, 296, 297, 317. 324 
Lodge, Capt O. R., 274 
Longstaff, IstLt Robert A., 246 
Lorigan, Maj Robert E., 44m, 54m, 205, 
225, 226k 

Mabry, Maj Clarence T., 225 

Mac Arthur, General of the Army Douglas, 
USA, 2, 3, 5, 6, 6n, 7-11, 11m, 14, 
22, 23, 34-36, 36m, 37, 38, 43, 129, 
131, 132, 133, 144, 146, 205, 334, 
340, 345, 346, 358 
Communicpie of 24 November, 144 

MacLcan, Col Allan D., USA, 243 

Maddox (DD), USS, 28 

Marine Phoenix (T-AP), USNS, 30 

Magness, 2dLt B. L„ 184 

Main Supply Route (MSR), 95, 96, 98, 
100, 103-106, 108-110, 114, 116, 
118, 120, 123, 124, 133, 140, 141, 
146-149, 154, 156, 159, 161, 163, 
171, 178-182, 189, 193, 197, 202, 
213, 221, 224, 239, 249, 250, 253, 

254, 257, 261-263, 267, 268. 272, 
274, 275, 283, 294, 296, 297, 312- 
315, 317, 318, 321, 324-329 

Near Sudong, 3 November, 106 
Wonsan to Hambung, 79 
Majori-dong, 82, 96, 99, 100, 116«, 124, 

135-137, 139, 141, 228, 284, 326, 

327, 331 

Majon-ni, 44, 56, 61-74, 126, 202, 203 

Logistics, 68 
Manchuria, 6, 9, 34, 36, 37, 79, 80, 84, 

85, 129, 142 
Manpoiin, 132, 133, 146 
Mao Tse-tung, 70, 83, 84. 86, 89, 90, 90«, 




Mao Tse-tung— Continued 
Strategic Aims, 89 
Moscow, December of 1949, 90 
Marine Corps, U. S. 
Air, 157, 293 
Birthday, 75, 121 

Fleet Marine Force 

Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Com- 
pany (ANGLICO), 63, Ml 
1st Air Delivery Platoon, 69, 311 
1st Combat Service Group, 39-41, 

128, 138 
7th Motor Transport Battalion, 
141, 22S, 234 
Company B, 205 
1st Marine Air Wing, 33, 45, 254, 
279, 282, 286, 313, 341, 346, 
Commanding Genera!, 33 
Marine Ground Control Intercept 
Squadron-1 (MGCIS-1), 
341, 34B 
Marine Tactical Air Control Squa- 
dron-2 (MTACS-2), 207, 
296, 341 
Air Defense Section, 341, 348 
Air Support Section, 349 
Marine Aircraft Group 12, 32-34, 
42, 239, 342, 348 
Headquarters Squadron 12, 32, 239 
Service Squadron 12, 32 
VMF-212, 273, 287, 347, 349 
VMF-214, 32, 273, 287, 347-349 
VMF-311, 350 

VMP-312, 32, 33, 68, 69, 100, 102, 
107, 113k, 116, 117, 152, 156, 
217, 222. 224, 264, 273, 299, 
307, 349 

VMF-321, 230 

VMF-323, 32, 273, 286, 347 

VMF(N)-513, 32, 33, 53, 102, 107, 
113n, 116, 117, 273, 307 

VMF(N)-542, 124, 266, 273, 282, 

VMR-152, 296, 350 

VMO-6, 34, 56, 73, 152, 154, 191, 

202, 205, 245, 272, 307, 350, 


1st Provisional Marine Brigade, 2n 
1st Marine Division, 1, 10, 11, 14, 
18, 21-27, 32, 34, 37-39, 41, 
43-45, 54, 59, 63, 75, 77, 79, 
SO, 95, 99, 124, 126, 128, 
131-134, 140, 145, 146, 148, 
161, 178, 197, 198, 202, 222, 
238, 246, 280, 281, 282, 302, 
303, 305, 309, 312, 319, 323, 

326, 332, 334, 355, 357, 339, 
540, 346, 353-356, 358. Hp 
Command Post, 15, 25, 45, 54, 7fc 
125, 149, 150, 200, M* 
203, 211, 214, 222, 22ft 
238, 241, 245, 285, 287. 
293, 325, 341 
Rear Command Post, 340 
1st Marine Command Group, SgJ 
Headquarters Battalion, 125, I 4 ?' 
203, 207, 220, 224, 225, 

228, 229, 231, 234, 
282, 299 na 

Military Police Company, 99, 29 -' 

Reconnaissance Company, 22, °y 
82, 99, 109, HO, 112, m 
135, 139-141, 148, 226, 
326, 328, 331 
Headquarters Companv, 299, 3 n , 1 
Composite Battalion, 193, 194. 2" 
1st Marines, J4, 15, 22, 40, 44, «< 
54-56, 59, 68, 75, 76, 79, 
82, 126, 135, 136, 139-l 4 l< 
147, 148, 228, 281. 284, 3*'"' 
312, 321, 325, 328, 335. S ft 
aho Col Lewis B, Puller 
Headquarters, 147 
Commanding Officer, 73 
H&S Company, 63, 71, 325, 328 
Anti-tank Company, 222 
4.2 Mortar Company, 222 , 
1st Battalion, 39, 45, 46, 49, 55-?*' 
58, 76, 147, 221, 308, M 
312-316, 320, 321, 
328, 331 
Command Post, 211 , 
Company A, 49, 53, 69, 7W? 
221, 314-316, 320, 5 2 ' 5 ' 
551 ,j 
Company B, 48-54, 57, 

314-316, 320, 3Z5 ,„ 
Company C, 49-51, 53, 3l4, 3 IJ 
Weapons Company, 222 . 
2d Battalion, 39, 55, 56, 58, W 
71, 72, 77, 147, 222, 

229, 279, 306, 319, 3 2? ' 
326, 528 

Command Post, 226 
Company D, 57, 77, 224, 319 
Company B, 57, 72, 72», P*. 

224, 225 
Company F, 57, 224, 225 
Weapons Company, 224 
3d Battalion, 39, 56, 61-63, 71, jjj' 
147, 197, 198, 200, 8*2 
215, 242, 243, 284, 3«* 
300, 321, 325, 326, 328 


Mijntie Corps— Continued 
Units— Continued 

1st Marines — Continued 
3d Battalion— Con tin tied 
Commanding Officer, 73 
Command^ Post, 67, 200, 204, 


H&S Company, 63, 6S, 207 
Company G, 66, 6R, 71, 147 
204-206, 220, 225, 226, 
228, 229, 231, 234, 235, 
241, 242, 293, 324, 326 
Company H, 66-68, 71, 73, 201, 
204, 208, 209-211, 21}, 
214, 216, 220, 326 
Company I, 66, 71, 73, 201, 204, 
207-209, 211, 214, 216, 
220, 240, 326 
Weapons Company, 63, 65, 71, 
197, 198, 204, 206, 208, 
211, 215, 326 
Fifth Marines, 1 5, 22, 25, 40, 44, 45, 
76, 79, 80, 123, 135, 139-141, 
147, 148, 150. 152, 158-160, 
177, 1R2, 185, 188, 189, 192, 
249, 251, 254, 278, 281, 284- 
287, 300, 312, 318, 325, 326, 
335. 340. See aho UCol Ray- 
mond L. Murray. 
Command Post, 40 
Headquarters, 170 
Anti-tank Company, 228, 229, 234, 

290, 317, 326, 

1st Battalion, 45, B0, 123, 124, 126, 
136, 158, 172, 180, 184, 
186, 189, 253, 255, 257, 
266, 268, 272, 274, 275, 
286, 293, 300, 317, 318, 
321, 325, 328 
Company A, 112, 123, 174, 184- 
186, 193, 251, 274, 293, 

Company B, 123, 187, 189, 257. 

293, 318 
Company C, 124, 183, 185-187, 
266, 291, 293 
2d Battalion, 56, 59, 76, 79, 81, 
123, 124, 136, 147, 151, 
152, 154, 157, 161, 163- 
166, 188, 189, 251, 257, 
265, 272, 274, 286, 288, 

291, 293, 300, 301, 325 
I !&*S Company, 164 
Company D, 123, 15$ 157, 159, 

163, 164, 266, 288, 290, 
291, 294 

Company E, 158, 163, 164, 166, 
186-189, 266, 274, 275, 

Company F, 156, 163, 164, 166, 

188, 265, 290, 291 

3d Battalion, 123, 124, 136, 147, 
158, 170, 172, 185, 187, 
188, 253-255, 257, 258, 
261-263, 268. 270-272, 
274, 286, 293, 300, 325 
Comand Post, 170, 171, 182, 262 
H&S Company, 170, 171, 182 
Company G, 170, 182, 189, 251, 
255, 257, 262, 263, 268, 
271, 272, 274 
Company H, 170, 189, 261-263, 

268, 271, 272, 274 
Company I, 170, 171, 183, 189, 

251, 262, 271 
Weapons Company, 170, 182 
Seventh Marines, 14, 15, 22, 25, 44, 
54, 58, 59, 76, 79-81, 98-100, 
102-104, 107, 109, 109«, 110, 
112, 114, 116, 118, 120, 121, 
123-125, 135-137, 139-141, 
147-149, 151, 152, 154, 156. 
159, 160, 177. 182, 183, 187, 
189, 192, 249, 251, 253, 254, 
257-265, 270, 272, 273, 281, 
284-288, 293, 294, 296-298, 
312, 314, 317-319, 321, 324- 
326, 335, 340, 352. See aho 
Col Homer L, Litzenberg. 
Headquarters, 148, 170, 189 
Command Post, 39, 40, 98, 103, 

104, 108-110, 261 
4,2-inch Mortar Company, 103, 
116", 186 

Anti-tank Company, 103, 105, 106, 

308, 160, 207, 215, 241 
1st Battalion, 81, 99, 100, 102-105, 
107, 109, 112-114, 116, 
121, 147, 152, 157, 189, 190 
H&S Company, 273, 318 
Command Post, 103, 105, 106, 

149, 193 
Company A, 100, 103-105, 159, 

189, 190, 258, 260, 264, 
270, 296, 318, 321 

Company B, 103, 104, 106, 157, 
159, 178, 190, 193, 258, 
260, 261, 264, 265, 270, 
318, 321 

Company C, 103-106, lli, 121, 
157, 159, 178, 179, 182, 
189, 190, 260, 261, 264, 
294, 318, 321 

Weapons Company, 108, 273, 
318, 322 

bid ex 

Marine Corps — Continued 
Units — Continued 

Seventh Marines— Continued 

2d Battalion, 100, 103, 103«, 104, 
106-109, 112, 116, 120, 
147, 160, 167, 198, 200, 
201, 207, 255, 290, 294, 
296-298, 317, 318, J2I, 324 
nand Post (Sudong, 3 No- 
vember), 106 
Command Group, 294 
Company D, 100, 102, 103, 108, 
109, 151, 152, 157, 15R, 
160, 167, 168, 170, 174, 
178, 183, 187, 251, 263, 
268. 270. 294, 296 
Company E, 102, 103, 106, 10S, 
151, 152, 158, 160, 168, 
170, 172, 174, 178, 183, 
184, 186, 251, 263, 268, 
270, 294, 296, 317, 324 
Company F, 103, 104, 106, 154, 

158, 159, 180-182, 189- 
191, 193, 198, 200, 201, 
207, 253, 254, 264, 272, 
294, 317 

Weapons Company, 160, 180, 
198, 201, 207, 251, 2p4, 

3d Battalion, 106, 112, 116-118, 
120, 121, 148, 152, 154, 
157, 161, 184-188, 251, 
253, 254, 257, 261, 266, 
275, 294, 296, 297, 317, 
318, 321, 324 
Command Post, 165 
H&S Company, 171, 267 
Company G, 116-118, 120, 154, 
157, 159, 193, 251, 258, 
266, 267, 294, 297, 317 
Company H, 104, 114, 117, 118, 
154, 157, 158, 163, 165, 
166, 170, 171, 185, 187, 
188, 257, 258, 260, 264. 
297, 317 
Company 1, 104, 116, 117, 157, 

159, 258, 266, 267, 297, 

Weapons Company, 71, 251 
Company J, 267 
H 1 event h Marines, 22, 40, 45, 80, 139, 
147, 148, 177, 178, 287, 293 
1st Battalion, X56, 160, 177, 262, 
274, 287, 313, 325 
Battery B, 275 
Battery C, 275 
2d Battalion, 40, 222, 287, 313. 
325, 328 

Battery D, 63, 204, 215, 287 
Buttery E, 222, 225, 305, 313 
Battery F, 45, 46, 52, 53, 2 2 "' 
313, 316 
3d Battalion, 99, 100, 104, 19% 
110, 116-118, M8, J7T- 
254, 262, 268, 287, 
303, 313, 324, 325 
Battery G, 100, 107, 160, 

202, 268, 298 
Battery H, 107, 192, 207, ?** 

220, 241, 262, 298 
Battery I, 100, 106, 160 
4th Battalion, 137, 160, 177, *W 
192, 249. 254, 274, 2 s7 * 

Provision^ infantry platoons, 

Battery K, 136, 177 
1st Amphibian Tractor Battalion, W> 
56, 311, 335, 341 
Company A, 127, 338, 343 
Company B, 343 
Company C, 127 
1st Armored Amphibian Tractor D 3 '* 
t alien 
Company B, 56 
1st Engineer Battalion, 39, 40, I' 7, 
141, 200 217, 247, 311 
Headquarters Company, 300 

Company A, 136, 152, 200, 

21 S' 

my ljj., (cnv, - 

219, 236, 241, 262, 3 UW ' 

Company B, 1 36, 200, 240 
Company C, 46, 63, 69, 307 


1st Medical Battalion, 308 

H&S Company, 139 

Division Hospital, 109, 139 

Clearing stations, 149 

Company A, 139 

Company B, 139 

Company C, 139, 149, 210 

Company D, 46, 63, 139 

Company E, 99, 139, 149, 245 
1st Motor Transport Battalion, 45. 

99, 141, 160. 207, 244, 29»- 

1st Ordnance Battalion, 136, 138 
1st Service Battalion, 99, 136, 13"' 
160, 207, 241 
1st Regulating Detachment, 247, 

1st Shore Party Battalion, 24, 39. 4fll 
56, 138, 338, 339 
Shore Party Group C, 40 



1 49, 


Corps — Continued 
Units— Continued 
1st Signal Battalion, 99, 22a, 234 
1st Tank Battalion, 39, 58, 80, 81. 
126, 137, 1-19 
H&S Company, 137, 228, 234 
Company A, 45, 79, 80 
Company B, 228, 229, 232-234, 

306, 326 
Company C, 56, 16 
Company D, 127, 136, 
201, 228, 229, 
w , 235, 306, 326 
Marshall, George C, 6 
General, USA, 84, 121m 
Secretary of Defense, 37 
Marshall \,S. t. A..92M.314*, }2I* 
Martin, P. G., 112n 
fj asan . 337, 341, 345 
™ ils on, It Ronald A., 73, 73», 
fjattox, 2dLt Charles, 71 
Maxwell, Marilyn, 31 
^Ahster, Col, Francis A„ 38n, 205, 284, 

McCaleb, Alfred E, Jr., 307 
garden, Cpl E„ 229« 
««-arthjf, Jst Lt Robert C, 180, 182, 190, 
u _ 191, 194» 
gcCartl >y C apt Thn masE.,71 
r] c( -lane, Capt George E., 107 
McClelland, Capt John C„ Jr., 222, 224, 


Jut r, J2 ° 
Vl c De rniott 

M cD Urmin< 

IstLt William A., 69, 316, 

Cpl Joseph E., 113 
M -"M.,m, SSfit R. E., 103w 
Jch| ro)F| Capt j ()hf) w ^ USNRi 139 

'garland, 2dLt Robert L., 210 
' l ]cW : Co] Huj|h D 3U 

fJ c Ghee, Lt James M., 51» 
McGumess, IstLt Clarence E., 297 
Vt^sMin, IstLt Gerald J., 156 
rj cL -iughlin, LtCol J, U, 229t>, 231-234 
^cNaughtton, IstLt George C, 290, 291 
McPliersen, SSgt Stanley B., 219 
"Reynolds, Mai William, 177, 192«, 
250, 253, 254n, 287« 
He < BrigGen Armistead D., USA, 309. 


Navy, 247 
. ^ffiical teams, 139, 246 
U j; 'cal supplies, 302 
, p lasma, 192 

lstLt Ermine L., 240, 242, 274 
Meister, Pfc wmhan H j „ 

' 1 services, 34 1 

Merganser (A MS), USS, 27 
Menit, 2dLt Max A., 184 
Messman, IstLt Robert C, 177 
Military Sea Transport Service, 24 
Miller, Capt J. H., 208, 209, 240« 
Milne, LtCol Harry T., 137, 285, 29<l«, 

300, 326 
Mines, naval, 13, 27 
Missouri (BB), USS, 15, 28-30, 343 
Mitchell, IstLt Grady P., 210 
Mitchell, 2dLt James M., 165 
Mi*e, IstLt Charles D., 270 
Mocking Bird (AMS), USS, 27 
Moji, Japan, 75 
Moiscil, LtCol Harry E., 339 
Monerief, Capt Malcolm G., Jr., 307 
Mongolia, 83 

Monk, MS# Matthew D., 48 

Montross, Lynn, 1 79//, 180«, 246/J, 330« 

Mooncy, 2dLt A. R., 103*. 116//, 120« 

Moorad, George, 83« 

More head, Capt Robert A., J 60 

Morehouse, RAdm Albert K„ 134, 336 

Morris, Capt. John F„ L 78-1 80, 260, 264, 

270, 297, 321 
Morris, Maj Warren, 193, 317 
Moscow, 90, 98 
Mortaj support, 320 

Motor march (Wonsan to Hamhtmg), 80 
Mount McKiehy (AGC), USS, 22, 23, 

25, 29, 31, 44, 45, 76. 337, 341- 

343, 348 

Muccio, Ambassador to Korea John, 35b 
Mukden, 142 

Munchon, 45, 72, 74, 79-81, 126 
Munday, Maj. Jack R., 339 
Mtmsel], SSfit Russell A„ 254 
Mupyong-ni, 40, 80, 133-135, 145, 146, 

Murphy, SSgt Daniel M., 172, 184 
Murray, LtCol Raymond L„ 25, 40, 80, 

123, 124, 152«, 157, 160, 172, 

178, 188, 212, 259, 271, 282, 285, 

286, 288, 293, 299, 318 
Myers, Maj Reginald R„ 71, 216-218, 220, 


Nanchang rebellion, 83 
Nanking, 84, 85 
Napalm, 266, 271, 288 
Nash, SSgt J. B„ 229« 
National Security Council, 5 
Naval Field Medical Research Laboratory, 

Naval gunfire, 338, 339, 343 
Naval gunfire support, 54, 55, 343 


Navy, U. S, 

Naval Forces Far East, 10 

Commander, (ComNavFE). See 

VAdm C. Turner Joy. 
Fleet Logistics Air Wing, 350 
Seventh Fleet, 17 

Transport Squadron One, 24 
Tactical Air Contra! Squadron 
One, 341, 348 
joint Task Force 7, 13, 30, 50, 75. 
See also VAdm A. D. 
Task Force 77, 15, 17, 254 
Task Force 79, 15 
Task Force 90, 15, 336 

Commander (CTF 90), 336, 
337, 339, 341, 342. See 
also RAdm J. H. Doyle. 
Task Force 95, 15 
Task Group 70.1, 15 
Task Group 95.2 Support and Cov- 
ering Group, 15, 28, 75 
Task Group 95.6, 15, 27, 29 
Task Group 96.2, 15 
Task Group 96.8, 15 
Tractor Group, 30, 31 
Transport Group, 30, 31 
Amphibious Group One (PbibGru 
1), 21, 336 
Commander (FhiGru 1), 26, 336 
Amphibious Group Three (PhiGru 

3), 356 
Task Element 90.21, 338 
Needham, IstLt R, C, 202, 208, 209 
Newsweek, 334 

Newton, 2dLt Minard P., 116, 118, 165, 

165s, 260, 264, 270 
New York Times, 345# 
Nichols, Capt Warren, 347 
Nihart, LtCo! F. B., 90s 
Noble (APA), USS, 39 
Noel, Frank, 231, 233 
Nolan, 2dLt Jack L., 164 
Noren, Capt Wesley B., 48, 49s, 50s, 51, 
51s, 52, 53, 53», 57, 57s, 221, 
279", 314, 315, 320, 321, 325 
R., 190s 

Objective A, 312, 321, 324-326, 328. See 

also Hill 1328. 
Objective B, 312, 317, 321, 325, 326, 328 
Objective C, 312, 318, 321, 324-326, 328 
Objective D, 312, 321, 328. See also Hill 


Objective E, 312, 325. See also Hill 1081. 
Observation Posts, 63, 66, 71, 73, 74, 103 
Office of The Chief of Military History 

Okinawa, 27, 338 
Olson, Major M, R., 123 
Operation Yo-Yo, 30, 31, 45 
Oro-ri, 96, 99, 104, 123 
Osprey (AM) USS, 27 
• --h, 318 

Pace, Secretary of the Army Frank, 35" 

Page, I.tCol John U. D., USA, 327 

Page, H. L., Jr., 327 « . 

Pak, Sun Choi, MajGen (NKPA), 66, 7? 

Pani'kkar, K. fit, 7 

Parachute, 251, 277, 280 

Parry, Maj Francis F., 99, 100/?, IW« 

Partridge, Gen Earle E., USAF. 33, 

210», 247, 300«, 309«, 311, 5** 
322, 323 

Partridge, LtCol John H., 40, 137 

Partridge (AMS), USS, 27 

Patrick, 2dLt C. E., 329s 

Patrols, 66 

Payne, SSgt Earle J., 179 
Pearl Harbor, 334 
Pcckham, Capt Charles, 231 
Peiping, 85, 98 

Pei ping -Tientsin (highway), 85s 
Peleliu, 134, 302 
Pendas, TSgt G. D., 226s, 24 Im 
Pendry, Capt Edwin, 107a „ 
Penstock Bridge, 315. See also Tread** r 

Persian Empire, 357 
Peters, Capt Uel D„ 154, 290 
Peterson, IstLt Elmer G„ 180, 191, 19 Z 
Peterson, 2dLt Willard S., 262 , 
Petroleum, Oil and Lubricants (POM- 

160, 283 w 
Philippine Sea (CV), USS, 17, 28, 286 
Phillips, apt W. D., 108, 168, 174 
mm (AM), USS, 27, 28 
Plans and Orders 

United Nations Command (UNC) 

Operation Order 2, 9« 
Commander in Chief, Far East 
Operation Plan 9-50, 8, 9, 10, 22 
Operation Plan 9-50 (Alternate), " 
Commander, Seventh Fleet 

Operation Order 16-50, 15 
Commander, Nnval Forces, Far East 
Operation Order 17-50, 27 
Operation Plan 113-50, 13s, 25 
Commander, Amphibious Group I 

Operation Order 16-50, 26 
Commander, Task Force 90 

Operation Order 19-50, 336 
X Corps 
Operation Order 2-50, 32 



"ws and Orders— Continued 
* Corps—Continued 
Operation Order 3, Uri 
Operation Order 4, 14, 15w, 21, 24 
Operation Order 6, 76, 131, 132, 135, 

n 147 

Operation Order 7, 145, 146, 148 
Operation Order 8-50, 239, 251 
Operation Order 9-50, 336 
Operation Order 10, 338u, 339 
Operation Plan 8, 134, 135, 145 
Operation Instruction (OI) 11, Km 
Operation Instruction 13, 76, 79 
Operation Instruction 15, 80 
Operation Instruction 17, 140 
Operation Instruction 19, 24? 
operation Instruction 22, 280 
ist Marine Division 
Administrative Order (AclmO) 

13-50, 24m 
Administrative Order 20-50, 284 
Embarkation Order (EmbO) 2-50, 

Embarkation Order 3-50, 335, 338h, 

^ration Plan 4-50, 38 
Operation Order 15-50, 17« 
Operation Order 16-50, 21, 22, 22n, 
_ 26h, 31, 331 
Operation Order 17-50, 26n 
Operation Order 18-50, 44, 45, 79 
Operation Order 19-50, 76 
Operation Order 21-50, 135 
Operation Order 22-50, 139, 140 
Operation Order 23-50, 14 1, 147 
Operation Order 24-50, 148 
Operation Order 25-50, 284 
Op crat i on Order 26-50, 303, 312, 318 
5,h Marines 

Operation Order 39-50, 15 lja 
"h Marines 

Operation Order 14-50, 2p4 
«« and 7th Marines 
Joint Operation Order 1-50, 250, 257 

P/w j0mt P«ation Order 2-50, 254 

1 j 1m (AM >< USS, 27, 28 

»k, Pfc Bruno, 213 

CT tt A ' &W IW«t J., 251 
Po 1 tlwr > U2 
fS Planning. 43 
p ' Exchange Section, 278 
l> re c ° rr cspondent. See Correspondents, 
A-;.', 5 pllot °firaphers, 333 

"icrs, Chinese Communist Forces 
(CCP), 58, 81, 98, 99, 156, 290, 
=93, 299, 322, 323, 3<lt 

Prisoners of War (POW), 42, 49, 57, 65 

Interrogations, 66 
Propaganda. (Chinese), 91 
Prosser, TSgt Wilfred H„ 322 
Provisional platoons, 63 
Puckett, 2dLt C. R., 82», 109, lt2*t 114, 

Puller, Col Lewis B, 39. 54, 55, 58, 69- 
72, 76, 224, 225, 306, 307, 328, 

Pungsan, 36, 145 

Pusan, 337, 339, 341, 345, 350 

Pusan Perimeter, 1, 10, 14, 24, 30, 66, 346 

Pusong-ni, 231, 299 

Pyongyang, 3, 9, 18, 22, 23, 34, 36, 63, 

66, 71, 350 
Pyongwon, 36 

Quantico, 351 

Quinn, LtCol William W., USA, 308 

Radford, Adm Arthur W„ USN, 35m, 337 
Radio, 67, 264, 282, 305 

Communication, 68 

Marine, 179, 191 

AN/GRC-9, 259 

SCR 300, 52, 207, 259 

SCR 610, 259 
Railroad, 95 

Rations, 160, 277, 282. 284, 302 

"C" rations, 121 
Read, Capt Benjamin 5., 215 
Redhead (AMS), USS, 27 
Reem, 2dLt Robert D., 118, 119 
Refugees, 49, 302, 319, 323, 326, 338, 

342, 345 
Rcller, Sgt Othmar J., 174 
Replacements, 281, 293, 294 

USMC, 302 
Rhce, President Syngman, 2, 3 
Ricardi, SSgt Anthony J,, 118 
Richards, IstLt Wayne E„ 152, 263 
Rickert, LtCol Robert W., 205 
Ridge, North, 151, 152, 157, 158, 161. 
167, 168, 170, 172, 178, 182, 187- 

189, 192 

Ridge, Northwest, 151, 152, 154, 156, 158, 
161, 163, 166, 167, 170, 183. 187- 

Ridge, South, 151, 152, 159-161, 177, 17S, 

190. 253 

Ridge, Southeast, 151, 152, 159, 160, 177, 

Ridge, Southwest, 151, 152, 154, 156-159, 
163, 167, 170, 177, ISO, 182, 188, 
189, 253 



Ridge, LtCol Thomas L., 62«, 63, 63», 
65, 66», 68, 71, Tin, 72, 73», 74», 
197, 198, 200-202, 201-207, 210, 
216, 220, 226/j, 235w, 240», 243a, 
295, 321, 328 

Ridgway, MajGen Matthew B., USA, 243 

Rigg, LtCol Robert F., 86a 

Roach, Maj Maurice E., 80w, 98, 10'i, 
116-118, 120, 157, 160, 165, 251, 
2S4», 29-in, 297 

Rnndi, SSgt William, 316, 320 

Road, Hamhung-Chosin Reservoir, 44 

Roadblocks, 69, 72, 74, 105, 166, 319 
CCF, 222, 224, 263, 274, 309, 315 
USMC, 294 

Roberts, Sgt Clayton, 5 1 

Roberts, Col Dean C, 350 

Robinson, Capt R. B., 53b 

torWr(CA),USS, 15, 28 

Roise, LtCot Harold S., 66k, 123. 
151, 152, 156, 164, 187, 
265, 266, 272, 274, 275 

Rosen, Lt Norman R., USA, 213, 214 
Rowan (DD) USS, 30 
Ruble, RAdm Richard W., U5N, 15 
Ruffner, MajGen Clark L., USA, 74w, 76, 

Rusk, Assistant Secretary of State Dean, 

St. Benedict Abbey, 39, 40 

Sakkat Mountain, 156, 157, 161 

Samchofc, 337, 342 

Samgo Station, 112, 113 

Sandbags, 208 

Sariwon, 9, 34 

Sasebo, Japan, 27, 32, 336 

Sawyer Maj W. D„ 80, 82, 100, 103, 106, 

108, 152, 160, 207, 294n, 317, 

318», 32 1h, 322« 
Command Post, 103 
Schlegcl, Pfc Eugene B., 219 
Schnabel, Maj James F., USA, 5», 8a, ll», 

35», 36n, 129n, 142», 143m 
Schricr, Capt Harold O., 262 
Schreier, IstLt William J., 174 
Schrnuck, LtCol Donald M., 221, 309a, 

314, 315, 321n, 322a, 324, 325, 

328, 331 
Schutt, Maj R, W„ 338a, 339 
Sears, Capt Norman W., 134, 336 
Secburger, IstLt Edward M., 174 
Seeley, Maj Henry J„ 232, 234 
Seoul, 1, 3, 9, 11, 63, 66, 291, 293, 355 
Sexton, Maj M. J., 281», 288, 302a 
Seyde!, IstLt Karle F., 291 
Shanghai, 85 

Shantung, 84 ,fj 
Sharon, 2dLt D. W., 82n, 109, 112 

116, 329« 
Shea, Maj W. E., 103» 
Shelnutt, Capt John C,. 213 
Shepherd, Capt G, E., 293 
Shepherd, LtGcn Lemuel C, Jr., 58, 

336, 337a, 338«, 340, 359 
Sherman, Adm Forrest P., USN, 5 

AGC, 24 

AKA, 24, 341 

AP, 24, 341 

A PA, 24, 341 

APD, 57 

Cargo, 42, 341, 342 
Cruiser, 342 
Destroyer, 342 

Hospital, 56 , j? 

JMS-14 (Japanese Mine Sweepers?*' 
LSD, 24, 341, 343 
LSM, 24, 42 

LSMR, 342 • a, 

LST, 14, 24, 25, 30, 32, 34, 38. * 

42, 55, 339-343, 348 
LST 883, 56, 57 
LST 973, 58 
LST (ROK), 54 
LSTH, 34. 55 
LSU, 24, 40 

LVT, 14, 40, 41, 55, 343 
LVT (A), 343 
Transports, 30 
Tugs, 342 

VMS 516 (ROK Minesweeper), « 
YMS 905 (ROK Mine Sweeper), 2? 
See also Ship by name 
Shore Party, 40, 41, 339, 341 ^, 
Shutts, Capt K. A., 202n, 229», 2V 

288m, 298», 329« 
Siberia, 36 , 
Sicily (CVE), USS, 32, 287, 347, 
Silvis, Capt Richard S. (MC), USNjJjJ 
Simmons, Maj Edwin H„ 63», 65. a, 
66, 67, 67", 197, 198, 204, 1 
235, 326 
Simpson, LtCol F. s 282 298. 299, 

Sinhung-n"' 123, 135, 139, 148, 243, & 

262, 274 
Sinhung-ni force, 243 
Sinhung Valley, 123, 124 
Sinuiju, 124, 142, 143 .4, 
Sitter, Capt Carl L., 66, 204, 205, r 

228, 229, 235, 236, 241, 242 
Skelt. IstLt Earnest P., 238, 241 
Sleeping bags, 259 



E» RAdm Allen E., USN, 15, 30 

£ u' Ma Gtt >^^ A., 40 

» Pfc Gerald J., 181 

feh, Harry, 327 

!?fw>. IstLt H. J., 291 

& Ca P' Jack A.„ 222 

£5«* IstLt L. R.. m», 186 

i "!' >> Capt Samuel S., 156, 288, 290, 291 

m "«, MajGcn Oliver P., 13-15, 21, 23- 
27, 29-32, 38, 39, 43-45, 54-58, 
°3, 76, 77, 80-82, 117, 125, 126, 
'28, 131, 133-136, 140, 145-148, 
^0, 189, 198, 200, 205, 206, 211, 
220, 224, 229, 234w, 235, 238, 239, 
24!», 243w, 244», 245, 24?n, 249, 
250/;, 253, 254, 271a, 275, 279w, 
2fSO«, 281-283, 285, 287, 28Sn, 
294/;, 305«, 307n, 308«, 309/», 
3U«, 312, 313, 318, 319«, 321/;, 
323 324a, 325, 328, 329", 332;;, 
335, 336, 338;;, 340, 341, 345«, 

W 34£| -351 I 359 

in, i i • ru t>t>er, 104 

■wueker, Col E. W., 45«, 74, 125, 324, 

327, 334. 335, 336s, 338» 
m 2dU Edward W., 216 


S*S 270 

184, 186 


^Whori, 95 
^fichon riveri j 

» 28 ' 56 ~ 38 ' »• « 7 
IstLt George A,, : 

Charles, 282 
W , Lt Anthony 174 
feS? MajGen Robert H, USA, 75, 342 

! 35 ' 1J7 ' 141 
■enff 'f 1 *' Theodore F., 151 
toff Wd, Capt Richard T„ USN, 15, 27, 
i,i ■ 30, 31 
aim M ' 

jgJM, Capt Edward P., 243, 244 

e °s, LtCol John W., II, 158, 183", 
'e*n ft 1 ?? , . 257 »- 272 ". 274, 318, 325n 
i|j^ C «l J. L., 254a, 266,,, 272/;, 300/7 

kki S8J Ch!1 - rl< ? Sfrj&S. 7l > 71 " 

" ,v «. 281 

,J. aas l', Capt Paul E., 206 

J Celerity, 8, 9 

'fat compression envelopment, 144 
emeyer, LtGcn George E., USAF, 10 

ntn <-'0ger, Capt Andrew J„ 64, 73, 
2M», 215 

Struble, VAdm Atthur D., USN, 15, 28- 

31, 38, 58, 337 
Stuart, TSgt H. C, 297 
Stuart, IstLt Vaughan R,, 300 
Sudong, 81, 96, 98, 100, 103-110, 112, 

116, 146, 251, 326, 327 
Su Jong ambush, 327, 328 
Sukchon, 34 

Sullivan, IstLt Charles H., 299 

Stinchon, }4 

Sung Shin-lun, 161 

Sung Wei-shan, 266, 267 

Supplies, 24, 42, 117, 138, 282 

In-transit depots, 138 

Supply levels, 140 

Advance Supply Point at Yonpo Air- 
field, HO 

Supply Regulating Station Detachment, 

138, 140, 141 
Supply trains, 126 
See also Dumps 
Supporting Arms Coordinator (SAC), 66, 

67, 198 
Supporting fire, 102 
Surrender Message, 6, 8 
Sutter, LtCol Allan, 55, 58, 59, 72, 77. 
222, 224, 226, 228, 305n, 306, 328, 

Swartley, LtCol J. N., 297 
Sweeney, TSgt James E., 202// 
Swenstm (DD), USS, 28 
Swinson, Pfc Louis W„ 171 
Swords, 2dLt John J., 53 

Tactical Air Control Center (TACC), 341, 

Tactical Air Control Parties (TACPs), 33, 
69, 349 

Tactical Air Direction Center (TADC), 
296, 349 
Airborne TADC, 321, 350 
Tactics, Marine, 107, 354 
Tacbeck, Mountain Range, 17, 18, 36, 38 
Tallcnt, SSgt Robert W., 89» 
Tanchon, 28 

Army, 244, 245, 293, 296 
USMC, 55, 62, 68, 127, 134, 147, 160, 
220, 222, 224, 229, 230, 232, 
235, 240, 254, 261, 263, 268, 
270, 272, 290, 291, 293, 294, 
296, 300, 301, 305, 311, 313, 
317, 326, 329-331 
M4A3 (Sherman), 137, 326 
M-26 (Pershing), 137, 160», 322, 326 
T-34 (NKPA), 105, 110, 112, 113 
Tank-doier, 68, 137, 138, 294 
Provisional tank platoon, 137, 160n, 
208, 291 



Taplett, LtCol R. D., 147, 158, 167, 170, 
171, 182, 183, 2 50, 254«, 257m, 
258«, 261-263, 268, 27lw, 272, 
274 275, 300 

Task Force Anderson, 245 

Task Force ft* 309, «£ 316, 326, 327 

Task Force Drysdale, 225, 226, 228-235, 
298. 300, 306, 307 

Task Forte Faith, 244, 245, 288 

Taylor, Capt R. M„ 53s 

Taylor, IstLt William W., 318, 321 

Tents, 281 

Warming, 121 

Thackrcy, Acini Lyman A., USN, 336 

Thanksgiving Day, 143, 148 

Theros, Opt John G,, 100k, 103w, 294 

Thirty-eighth Parallel, 2, 3, 5-9, 34, 59, 

Thorns (DD),USS, 28 

Thomas, Istl.t Alfred I., 267 

Thomas, Maj R. C. W., 86n 

Thornton, Cpl D. R„ 159m, 180m, 181, 

Tientsin, 85 

Tighe, Major Thomas B., 259, 270, 271 
Time, 333, 334, 358k 
Tog won, 70 
Tokchon, 146 
Toksi!-li, 36, 141 

Toktong Pass, 96, 10 1, 136, 1 47, 159, 
179, 180, 190, 198, 201, 246, 253, 
254, 265, 270-272 

Tokyo, 35, 205, 308, 348, 359 

Tonae-ri, 294 

Tongchon, 50, 55-57 

Tongjon-ni, 228 

Tootsie Rolls, 278 

Tou/Znda Victory, SS, 342 

Tractor Groups, 30 

Tractor Dozers, 41, 149, 177, 210, 247, 

253, 301 
Trailers, 25 

Rail and Motor Transport, 1(0 
Railway, 138 
Railway cars, 139, 327 
Train, 45, 46, 54, 55, 59 
Kowon, 127 
Divisional, 313 
No. 1, 285, 303, 305, 322, 324-326 
No. 2, 293, 300 

RCT-1, 327, 328 
5th Marines, 300 
7th Marines, 184, 294, 297, 312, 
317, 321, 324 
Supply, 128 
Trucking Facilities, 141 

Trapnell, 2dU Nicholas M., 172, lS& lS 
Treadway Bridge, 309, 315 
Trip Flares, 71, 208, 240 
Trumpeter, Maj Joseph D„ 63, 198 
Troop Training Unit Pacific, 339 
Tsung Hui Tzu, 185 A 
Truman, President Harry S., 3, S*i " 1 

In, 8)7, 9'i, 35, 84, 129«, M 2W 
Tsinan, 84 
Tsingtao, 85 

Tuan-di, l4l , 
Tunner, MajGen William H„ USAF, 3S '' 

338, 349 
Turkish Btignde, 150 
Turner, Capt Uryon C, 99 
Twohey, SSgt. Richard B., 113 
Typewriters. 281 

Uiji, 143 
Uijonbu, 14, 15 
Ulsan, 337, 343 

Umbaugh, SSgt Ernest J., 320 [, 
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, 3, 
Intervention in the Korean War, 35-?" 

Military Mission in Tokyo, 90 
United Nations (UN), 1, 2 
Forces, 5, 7, 8, 13 
Mead quarters, 145 
Security Council, 3 

EUSAK, See Army Units. yi f 
Independent Commando, Royal i 
fines, (4 1st Comman* ' 
140, 148, 149, 205, 220, 
226, 228-231, 233-236, 
273, 275, 300, 307, &f%L 
Twenty -seventh Commonwealth p 
gade, 34 
United States, 90 

Defense Department, U. S., 142 it 
Military Advisory Group in China, 

State Department, U. S. 3«, 6, W* 
USO, Jl 


Valley Forge (CV), USS, 17, 233- ' 
Vehicles, 42, 197, 268, 284, 325 

Ambulances, USMC, 314, 327 

Amtrac, 127 

DUKWS, 338, 339 4 
Jeeps, 114, 137. 233, 244, 277, ^ 

314, 322 
Supply, 69 

Tractors, USMC, 322 ,& 
Trucks, 25, 68-70, 72, 74, 109, JSj, 
197, 228-230, 232, 235, SS 
277, 285, 296, 299, 31L ' 
328, 331, 347 


hides— Continued 
i rucks— Continued 
Ilrockway, 311, 312, 319, 322 
gtttfOy, 110, 117, 124 
. Column, 231, 235, 272, 274, 286 
Weasel" (M-29), 127 
K}™» SSet William L, 113, 1 66 
' M,, »K, Cant Norman, 2W, W& 
*0ffl utu Ewald D., 312 

vor h'ts, Maj W. E., 10S« 

Island, 35 

Mftt, Richard L„ 83« 
Wl) l^r, LtGen Walton H., USA, 9-11, 
b . H 17, 83, 86, yiff, 205 
K««6th ( Col H. S„ 229h, 232, 233 

(APD), USS, 56 
EgWi lstLt Charles C, 312 
J\ ur d, Lt Chester C„ 31 
J£ atr W, LtCol Charles £., 339 
E*fgn, Maj Walter T., 215 
fc*^ I «t8n, D. C. 35, 37, M2, 359 
y-isson, Pf c Marvin L., 327, S27» 

Artillery. 102, 107, 215 

75mm, 147 

76mm, 23 5 
Automatic, 268 

1- 5 Bazooka, 204 
Jwp guns, 210 
Hares, £ft| 

Grenades, 105, IIS, 184, 135, 210, 

217, 218, 225, 226 
Machine guns, 105, 110, 118, 147, 

157, 163, 179, 184, 193. 197, 

218, 219, 225, 226, 228, 266, 
... 291, 296, 315, 316, 325 
*J»<«s p land (Bouncing Betty), 74 
M °rtars, ]02 T 110. 117, 157, 163, 

178, 191-193, 201, 209, 210, 
220, 225, 228, 229, 235, 291, 

h MS 

ggdi 226 

Klffes, 190, 225, 226 

2- 36 Rockets, 299 
arn a ]|- atmSi 2 01, 229, 235 

*Wi*h Korean People's Army 
^enades, 127 
T l 'Sh Explosives, 125 
Mortars, 52, 298, 299, 302 

Sn «li K 0re a 

Ufl )ted States 
Army self propelled AAA firms, 324 
"°rnhs, 102 
Grenades, 165 

Marine, 113, 168, 181, 194, 217, 
219, 232. 233, 255, 282 

Machine fiuns 
Army, 213 

Heavy, 67, 180, 183, 191, 194, 
211, 215. 225. 240, 259, 
261, 271 

USMC, 163-166, 168, 209, 219, 
225, 229, 244, 266, 281, 
291, 315, 327 
Light, 219, 257. 299 
NT [ ritfS 

Booby traps, 43, 71, 208, 240 
Clearance, 138 
Mortars, 73, 108, 110, 184, 202, 225, 

4,2 inch, 52, 107, 118, 152, 156. 
160, 221, 222, 266, 281, 
288, 305, 315, 324 

(llmm, 50, 51, 103, 105, 120, 
178-180, 183. 209, 215, 
216, 232, 265, 315, 320, 

81mm, 50-52, 67, 103, 105, 156, 
164, 165, ISO, 184, 190, 
193, 194, 204, 222, 224, 
240, 251, 257, 259. 261, 
264, 271, 290, 294, 305. 
315, 326 

Support, 217, 219 
Pistol, 209 

Rifles, 163, 164, 232, 281 
BAR, 118, 161, 329 
Carbine, 161, 209. 217, 232 
M-l, 161, 217 

75mm Recoilless, 57, 69, 105, 103. 
109, 112, 113, 152, 156, 
160, 193, 221, 232, 233, 
275, 327 
Rockets, 102, 271, 291 

2.36, 290 

5 inch, 113 

3.5 launcher, 65, 103. 105, 113, 
114, 185, 213, 226, 325 
Small arms, 219 
Weather, 121, 135, 136, 152, 161. 172, 
194, 259, 297, 314, 315, 319, 320, 

Webber, IstLt Richard C, 174 
Wedencycr, Lt(js) Robert G., (MC) 

USN, 297 
Weihle, Walter L., 10 
Wetland, Maj Charles P., 339, 340 
Westover, Capt John G., 213, 226n 
Whipple, Maj R. E., 257w, 262, 271 


Whitney, MajGen Courtney, USA, 6b, 

7tf, 8ff, 9n, 35b, 129», 205 
Wiggens, TSgt Shelly, 69 
Wilcox, Capt Myron E„ Bl, 173 
Williams, Capt Bruce P., H9n t 331 
Williams, Cpl C. W., 229w 
Williams, IstLt Leslie C, 258 
Williamson, Capt Harold B., 268, 276 
Willoughby, MajGen C, A., USA, 35b, 

129, 205 
Wilson, IstLt H. S„ 244, 282 
Wilson. IstLt John B„ 81, 99, 100, 103ra 

Winston!' LtCol' Wafdon* C, USA, 327, 
327b, 328 

Wire, concertina, USMC. 240 

Wocssner, Maj Henry J., 98, 100a, 152b 

Wonssn, 8-11, 14, 17, 18, 22, 34-37, 
43-46, 50, 54, 56, 58, 59, 61, 63, 
66, 68-72, 74-76, 79, 80, 95, 98, 
125-128, 131, 136, 138, 145, 239, 
308, 338, 348, 350 
Airfield, 15, 18, 41, 56, 68, 69, 128, 

Capture of, 22 

Evacuation, 239, 338 

Majon-ni Road, 62 

Air, 31-33 
Embarkation, 21 
Intelligence, 17, 18, 21 
Landing, 14, 31, 37-41, 44, 281 
Logistics, 10, 11, 18, 19, 24, 25, 41, 

Mine sweeping, 27-29 
Movement to the Objective, 30, 31 
Orders, 14, 15, 17 
Outloading, 24-26 
Plans, 11-15, 22-24 
Personnel, Landed at, 42 
Population, 17 
Shore Party Groups, 40 
Wood, LtCol Ranson M., 156 
Worcester (CL), USS, 28 
World War I, 351 
World War II, 2 

Wray, Capt Robert P„ 49-51, 314, 315 

Wright, BrigGen Edwin K., USA, 8. 1P ' 
11b. 14», 23b, 132, 205 

Xenophon, 333, 357 

Yalo River, 36, 81, 82, 98, 99, 131. I' 5 ' 
142-146, 352 
Advance to, 132, 146, 147, 150 
Logistics, 138, 140, 141 
Medical, 138. 139 
Orders, 145, 148 
Plans, 131-136, 139-141 
Battle of the, 143 

Bridges across the, 129, 142, 143 n 
Hydro -electric plants along the, 

Yancey, CWO Dee R., 229, 232 
Yancy, 1st Lt John, 108, 168, 174 
Yangdok, 35 
Yang t zee Valley, 85 
Yeaman, Col R. R., 350 
Yenan, 83, 84 

Yonghung, 45, 79, 126-128, Bl 

Yonghung-Hamhung Railroad, 44 

Yongnim-dong, 148 

Yonpo, 95. 239, 286, 311, 341, 347,^ 

AirfieS 38, 246, 335, 337. 340, t* 

Yongwon, 9 

Youngdale, Col C. A., 326b i& 
Yudam-ni, 96, 102, 109b, 131, 13 5 ; 

139-141, 146-152, 154, IJJjjp, 
163-168, 170-172, 174, ITJ^I, 
182-195, 200-202, 204, 207, J& 
2JB, 239, 245, 247, 249, 250. 
253-255. 277-280, 282, 283. 
291, 334, 336, 352-354 
Artillery, 177, 250 
Breakout, 220, 254, 255, 257-2"' 
Casualties. 280 
Command, 249, 250 
Medical, 192 
Yugoslavia, 3» 

Zullo, MSgt Rocco A., 226 

TV u. a. □DVEAMhtENT FRIttTIHa OFF1CC, 1097- 

Semper Fi Mac